16th April 2014 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Norris hits the front at Elements

Norris hits the front at Elements

Norris hits the front at Elements

(PHOTO – Shaun Norris; credit CJ du Plooy

BELA-BELA, 16 April 2014 – It’s been a long while since Shaun Norris last dominated a leaderboard and the two-time Sunshine Tour winner was surprised to find himself leading the challenge after two rounds of the IGT Series Win a Car Final at Elements Private Golf Reserve.

“I’m working on some swing changes, so to be honest, my mind was focussed on my game and I didn’t even glance at the leaderboard,” said the Pretoria golfer after signing for a two-under-par 70 and a one shot lead on two under 142.

“I didn’t expect to be leading, but this is great news. I entered this week’s final, because the IGT Tour is highly competitive and I need that kind of environment to test the swing changes.

“It always gives you a nice little boost to know you’re on the right track. And with the Seat Ibiza to play for, as well, I really have something to compete for in the final round.”

It was a tough scoring day at the Limpopo course and only one of the five overnight leaders managed to finish within striking distance of Norris.

Wynand Dingle carded a 73 to finish on off the pace and shares the second spot with Duane Keun, who returned a 71.

Gideon Pienaar, another first round leader, carded a 74 to finish in joint third alongside Francois Coetzee (72) and Pieter Kruger (70).

Norris hopes this week will kick start his Sunshine Tour season.

He turned pro in 2002 on the back of an illustrious amateur career and broke through for his maiden win at the 2007 Africa Open. He lifted his second title at the Nashua Masters in 2011 and hopes it won’t be another four years before he claims number three.

“I had a slow finish last season and a slow start this year and things need to change,” Norris said.

“My dad was diagnosed with cancer last year and that dominated the latter part of my season. I’m working hard, though, at trusting myself and to get my confidence and self-belief back to a level where I’m challenging again.”

Norris dropped successive shots at the fourth and fifth, but turned things around with three birdies on the trot. He collected another brace of birdies after the turn and bookended three more bogeys with birdies at the 14th and 18th.

“The layout is fantastic and the course is in great condition, but these greens are something else,” he said. “The greens have a lot of slope and they are incredibly slick. If you don’t hit it in the perfect spot, you struggle to make par. If you get the ball to the sweet spot, though, it’s a birdie chance.

“It’s a wonderful challenge, but also very frustrating and I’m really glad I could get out of there with more birdies than bogeys.”

SECOND ROUND SCORES

142 – Shaun Norris 72 70

143 – Wynand Dingle 70 73, Duane Keun 71 72

144 – Francois Coetzee 72 72, Gideon Pienaar 70 74, Pieter Kruger 74 70

145 – Neil Cheetham 73 72, JC Ritchie 70 75, Juan Langeveld 71 74

146 – Johan de Beer 76 70, Antonio Rosado 73 73, Brett Liddle 75 71, Otto van Greunen 75 71

147 – Thomas Lovett 77 70, Rae Mackie 70 77, Pierre Viviers 75 72, Lean Boezaart 74 73

148 – John McClean 71 77, Ryan Gosling 74 74, Jerry Steyn 71 77

149 – Pieter Van der Linde (AM) 77 72, Mike Downes 73 76, Christiaan Pretorius 74 75, Ted Hendriks 74 75

151 – Rourke Van der Spuy 76 75, Frans Strydom 73 78

152 – Tertius Van Den Berg 74 78

153 – Dayne Moore 70 83

154 – TJ Bekker 80 74

155 – Alwyn Vorster 79 76, Robert Herselman 78 77, Herman Minnie 75 80

156 – David Lamprecht 78 78, Dwayne Coetzee 77 79

157 – Arno Bartholoma (AM) 78 79, Coert Groenewald 76 81, Graham van den Berg (AM) 76 81

159 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 82 77, Terence Boardman 78 81

160 – Murray Smit 80 80

166 – Deon Bredenkamp 82 84

168 – Johan Smit (AM) 82 86

175 – Wayne Stroebel 89 86

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