Norris takes aim at Augusta

13th November 2018 | Sunshine Tour

Norris takes aim at Augusta

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Norris takes aim at Augusta

Shaun Norris’ feats on the Japan Golf Tour – where he has won a title in each of the last three seasons – continue to push him up the world ranking and a few good results in the last tournaments of the regular season might see him with a shot at the Masters tournament next year.

He started the season at the back of a career-high world ranking of 160 following a stellar 2017 season in which he claimed the second of his Japan Golf Tour titles and made his debut at the 146th The Open Championship.

Now, five top 10s, two runner-up finishes and a win have characterised what’s been another solid season for Norris in the east as he chases his maiden Order of Merit on any Tour. But, that is just a by-the-way thing. While he has been racking up results in Asia and on the Sunshine Tour, his world ranking kept rising as a result.

A third-place share with Finland’s Tapio Pulkanen in last season’s Joburg Open early in the year earned him another ticket to only his second Major appearance; the 147th Open Championship, on account of ranking higher than the Finn in the world at the time.

He is not showing any signs of slowing down this season, either, as a third-place finish at the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters last week moved him from 76th to 72nd, his best ranking yet. Now, with less than five events left on this year’s schedule of the Japan Golf Tour and a few events co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour still to play, Norris’ upward march seems unstoppable. Unless, of course, he starts playing really badly.

As things stand, however, the two-time Sunshine Tour winner looks poised for a spot in the top 50 in the world before the end of the year. And that holds the promise of yet another Major appearance, at the Masters tournament this time. If Norris secures the Order of Merit in Japan and puts together solid results in the co-sanctioned events which start at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita, his way to Augusta National suddenly becomes a lot easier. If he misses the top 50 at the end of the year, however, there are other opportunities to get into it ahead of the Masters and that’s something he will draw motivation from.

He has to keep playing and delivering the results as he has been doing, however, for this to happen.


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