SUVA, Fiji: Australian journeyman Jason Norris revived his flagging career on Sunday when he won the Fiji International by four strokes.
The 44-year-old set himself up with six birdies on the front nine and then held his nerve on the homeward stretch to card a five-under-par 67 to finish 14 under par.
“It’s taken me 21 years to have a win like this,” said Norris, who was considering the Asian Tour qualifying school for next year but now gets a two-year exemption on that tour and playing rights on the European Tour after winning the co-sanctioned event.
“Now I’ve got a start in Europe and Asia as well. I was going to quit the game last year and now I’m playing all over the world. It’s just fantastic,” he said.
Fast finishing Thai Jazz Janewattananond and Australians James Marchesani and David McKenzie were tied for second on 10 under par.
Overnight leader Wade Ormsby, first-round pacesetter Daniel Pearce of New Zealand and Australians Peter Wilson and Adam Bland finished a shot further back on nine-under par.
Norris had a chance to take the lead at the end of the third round until he double-bogeyed the 16th but immediately made up ground on the final day with three birdies on the first four holes.
Ormsby, meanwhile, parred the first six holes of his final round and started to slide when he bogeyed the seventh. Janewattananond signed for the best final round with a 64, helped by an eagle on the par-five 17th. “I was at the front edge of the green and had about 25 yards to the pin. The initial plan was the hit it close from there. I didn’t expect to hole that putt. It took me by surprise,” said the Thai. — AFP
Fiji International final scores
(par 72, Australian unless stated):
274 – Jason Norris 69-68-70-67
278 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 74-72-68-64, David McKenzie 68-71-72-67, James Marchesani 71-70-67-70
279 – Adam Bland 68-71-75-65, Daniel Pearce (NZL) 66-71-73-69, Peter Wilson 68-71-70-70, Wade Ormsby 69-71-66-73
280 – Jarryd Felton 71-71-72-66, Gareth Paddison (NZL) 73-69-71-67, Scott Vincent (ZIM) 73-68-68-71
281 – Mark Brown (NZL) 75-71-69-66, Aron Price 72-74-68-67, Jake McLeod 72-70-71-68, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 72-72-68-69
282 – Josh Geary (NZL) 72-73-70-67, Harry Bateman (NZL) 74-66-71-71, Michael Sim 69-72-70-71, Terry Pilkadaris 70-73-68-71
283 – Michael Long (NZL) 77-69-67-70, Shunya Takeyasu (JPN) 72-72-68-71, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 69-72-70-72, Stephen Leaney 71-69-70-73