Golfer Norris bracing up for Myanmar title defence

Yangon (Myanmar), Jan 11 (IANS) South African golfer Shaun Norris hopes to rediscover his putting touch ahead of his title defence at the $750,000 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open from January 26 to 29.

Norris, who secured his second title on the Asian Tour in last year’s showpiece when he fired a sparkling third round 61, will headline the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

He will be joined by two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, who won twice in 2016, and Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei.

The Myanmar Open will move to a new venue at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club but the big-hitting South African remains confident of retaining his title on a different golf course.

“I don’t think there’s any player in the world who never looks forward at defending their title even if it is at a new course. I’m expecting the best and I look forward to 2017. I want to learn from what I’ve done in 2016 an pick up on the experience of playing in Asia and Japan,” Norris said in an Asian Tour release on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old is keen to settle for a putter which has the same feel with the one which guided him to victory in Myanmar following a mishap on the plane that dented his trusted flat stick.

“My putting was phenomenal that week. The putts I needed to make, I made. I gave myself chances and I made those. Unfortunately throughout the season I didn’t putt as well as I did in Myanmar,” said Norris.

“I had a little mishap with an airline when they dropped or threw my bag and dented the face of my putter. I’ve been looking around to look for the same type of feel in a putter. Hopefully, I’ll get back there and I’ll find a putter that feels exactly the same!” he added.

Norris, an Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate, won his first title on the Asian Tour at the 2015 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei and following his breakthrough, he has enjoyed an upswing in his career in Asia.