Norris Notches Top Six In Vietnam

South Africa’s Shaun Norris cruised to a joint sixth place finish in the Ho Tram Open where world number 12 Sergio Garcia trumped three players to win the US$1.5 million Asian Tour event in a sudden-death play-off.  Norris fired a superb 65 to tie for second with Garcia in the third round at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip.  The Silver Lakes pro had hoped to chase down a second title in Asia this season, but just couldn’t get the round going.

The Yeangder Tournament Players Championship winner traded four birdies for a quartet of bogeys over the last 18 holes to close with an even-par 72 to share sixth with Sam Cyr on 11 under 273.  Meanwhile Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang and Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant bowed out early in the play-off and Garcia eliminated Himmat Rai from India with a par at the second extra hole to lift the title of the richest full-field Asian Tour tournament this season.  Garcia celebrated his 23rd career Tour victory nearly two years since his last podium finish.

Garcia, who signed off with a three-under-par 68 for a 14-under-par 270 aggregate, says:  ‘I was fortunate and you have to be lucky to win.  I was fortunate to get a second chance after I pretty much gave it away.  I’m very happy as I haven’t won in a while.  After you’ve been up there and you don’t win, a lot of things go through your mind and this win will help give me a little bit more confidence.’  South Africa’s Bryce Easton carded 72 in the final round to tie for 44th on 285, while Norris’s stablemate at Lumenrock Sport, Keith Horne, slipped from 29th to joint 57th after closing with a 78.

Norris, Horne and Easton are heading next to the Thailand for the Thailand Golf Championship in Chonburi.  Other South Africans lining up at the Amata Spring Country Club from 10-13 December include Jbe’ Kruger, Jaco Ahlers, Zander Lombard, Wallie Coetzee, Titch Moore, Andrew Curlewis and Jacques Blaauw.

Photo credit: Sunshine Tour