Norris ready for another challenge
Yangon, January 23: South Africa’s Shaun Norris arrived in Myanmar in confident mood and believes he stands a good chance of recapturing the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open title when the US$750,000 event starts on Thursday.
Norris’ tied-second finish in Singapore last week has given him the belief he can mount another serious charge and lift the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open title which he won in 2016.
“I have very good memories here in Myanmar and I always enjoy myself whenever I come back here. I had a good result in Singapore and I’m feeling very good about my game at the moment. So I’m definitely looking forward to the week. Winning the Leoplace21 Myanmar Open in 2016 was a defining moment in my career as that victory taught me many things about myself not only as a golfer but as a person. It’s shaping up to be a good week here in Myanmar and I’m looking forward to it,”said Norris.
Defending champion Todd Sinnott of Australia missed the cut in Singapore last week and while the fortunes maybe different for Norris and Sinnott in the Lion City, their goal of winning Myanmar’s National Open again remains the same.
Sinnott, who stood on the brink of missing the cut to lifting his maiden Asian Tour title at the Leopalace Myanmar Open last year, is determined to show his battling spirit at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club again
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa is also eager for a return to the winner’s circle in what will be his first visit to Myanmar for the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open.
Ishikawa ended 2017 with a tied-second finish on the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) and continued to underline his status as one of Japan’s most popular players by battling into contention in his season-opening event in Singapore only to fall short at the final hurdle last week.
Myanmar’s Ye Htet Aung and Naing Naing Lin will spearhead the local charge as they are among the 17 local hopefuls ready to make an impact on home soil this week.
Did you know?
- Shaun Norris had a stunning 61 on the third day of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open to thank for helping him secure victory in 2016.
- It was Norris’ second title on the Asian Tour following his maiden victory at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei in 2015.
- Norris is currently leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Todd Sinnott secured a convincing three-shot victory at the 2017 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open in what was only his second tournament in Asia after graduating from Qualifying School last year.
- The Australian nearly missed the weekend rounds, and made it through with just two strokes to spare from the cut.
- After hitting six balls into the water in the opening two rounds and making the cut, Sinnott moved from 40th position to tied fourth after the third day and cruised to victory thanks to six birdies in the final round.
- Ishikawa, nicknamed the ‘Bashful Prince’ for his boyish good looks, first burst into the scene when he became the youngest winner to win on the JGTO in 2007 as a 15-year-old amateur.
- Ishikawa received a special exemption to play in the Masters Tournament in 2013 where he finished tied-38th.
- 2009 was one of Ishikawa’s most successful years as a professional when he triumphed four times and topped the JGTO Money List.
- Ishikawa was the youngest golfer to break into the world’s top-50 in 2009 but has seen his world rankings dropped to 218th.
- He started his season with a tied-16th result in Singapore last year.
- Ye Htet Aung is one of the few players from Myanmar playing on the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour. His best result on the Asian Tour came at the Indonesian Open last year where he finished tied-18th.
- Naing Naing Lin is the highest ranked player from Myanmar. He topped the domestic Order of Merit in 2017.