Tournament article

Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters 2019

Shaun Norris declared to Shugo "I won’t let you run away with the Order of Merit title this year"

It was dramatic battle between amateur Takumi Kanaya and Shaun Norris, but Shaun was a gentleman and showed elite sportsmanship. He lost to a 21 years old amateur, but Shaun said, "Takumi made that wonderful eagle putt. How could I complain to that?"

Shaun had a short birdie putt to finish, but he raised his right hand to praise Takumi first. Shaun has lost his beloved father in July. Under the deep sorrow, he has won his 4th Tour victory last month and dedicated that win to his father. He also has his family with him for few weeks now in Japan touring around with him. Today, he wanted to give his family another victory, but couldn't make it happen.

Shaun and Takumi started out in the same final group, 1 shot behind Takumi the leader. In the first nine, Shaun took away the leader position and one time his lead was 2 shots. But Takumi wouldn't give up and fought back.
"Takumi did have few miss shots, but he always made a comeback. He was focused."

Shaun had a trouble on reachable 15th where his tee shot went into the right-side trees, but with a magnificent short game, he came through with a birdie to match Takumi's birdie. On 16th, Takumi made long birdie putt, and Shaun also made 7-meter birdie.

But the bogey on 17th gave Takumi the chance to be tied as co-leaders into the final 18th. Takumi's 2nd shot got to 7-meters to the pin. Shaun's 2nd shot was long and roll off at the back of the green. He did make a great short game to a birdie chance, but Takumi made the eagle putt to win and that was the end of the fierce "match play".

"I am not upset or regretful of my game. Takumi did better than me, that is the result of today's game. I purely want to congratulate him."

Prize money for 2nd is 20 million yen, but since amateur won, the prize money for the winner, Shaun will receive 40 million yen instead. This allowed Shaun to jump from 4th to 2nd on the Money Rankings. His total prize money for this season has reached over 100 million yen and Shaun is just 7,199,256 yen away from the current No.1 Shugo Imahira. Shaun and Shugo was battling the Order of Merit title until the very end last season, but eventually Shugo got the honors.
"There is only one thing to say. Shugo, this year I will not let you run away. I will catch you. I won't stay as 2nd anymore."

The battle for Order of Merit race was declared. Anything to say, Shugo?