BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup 2024

Norris eyes second victory at BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup

Norris eyes second victory at BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup

Shaun Norris is poised to turn his consistent form into a winning performance as he gears up for the BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup, which begins in Ibaraki on Thursday.

The 42-year-old South African is both confident and eager as he makes his return to the Shishido Hills Country Club, the site where he clinched the second of his six JGTO titles in 2017.

Refreshed after a week's break, Norris believes he has what it takes to repeat his success and end his nearly three-year winless streak where his last victory came at the Japan Open in October 2021.

Norris's recent performances have been marked by consistency, with no missed cuts since the start of the season and finishes no worse than 20th in his last four events.

"The game's trending in the right direction, it feels good. It's nice to be back in Japan, happy at home and enjoying the time that I can spend with the family," Norris commented.

Norris will undoubtedly be relying on his familiarity with the course. In addition to his victory in 2017, he also recorded a tie for fifth in 2016 and a tie for sixth last year at the same venue.

"Great memories around here, always enjoy playing out here, I love the course hopefully we can pull another one out of it,” added Norris.

As one of the most successful international players on the circuit, Norris has been competing for eight consecutive seasons on the JGTO and he is not showing any signs of slowing down.

When asked what keeps bringing him back to Japan, Norris, who has also been a runner-up seven times on the JGTO, shared his thoughts: "The courses are always in top conditions and challenging, and the people here are friendly.

"I'm content with how things are progressing and looking forward to the rest of the season," he said.

With a substantial winner's purse of ¥30,000,000 at stake in the ¥150,000,000 tournament, Norris has a strong opportunity to ascend to the top five of the Money Rankings, currently sitting in 19th position.

All 132 players in the competition will be highly motivated to pursue the additional benefits that accompany the victory. 

These include a five-year exemption on the JGTO tour, an invitation to the DP World Tour's BMW International Open in July, and a brand-new BMW vehicle.

Among the other notable international competitors this week are Michael Hendry from New Zealand, who is the sole non-Japanese winner this year following his victory at For The Players by The Players, Juvic Pangunsan from the Philippines, the Australian pair of Brad Kennedy and Anthony Quayle and South Korea's Song Young-han.

Takumi Kanaya, the reigning champion, is eager to hold onto his title at a tournament that is regarded as one of the JGTO's majors.

"Winning this tournament would be highly meaningful. I intend to keep playing my game and aim for the victory," said Kanaya.

"It's a major tournament on a very challenging course. It requires skill to win here, so I definitely want to emerge victorious."

A successful title defence would surely boost his confidence heading into the U.S. Open the following week.

"My putting wasn't strong in a few tournaments, but I've been working on it. I hope to see positive results this week, which will give me momentum for next week," Kanaya added.