Fiji International 2017: Jason Norris Grabs Comfortable Win, Australia Dominates

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2017

SUVA, FIJI - AUGUST 20:  Jason Norris of Australia poses with his caddie Shannon Aistrope and the trophy after winning on day four of the 2017 Fiji International at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on August 20, 2017 in Suva, Fiji.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Jason Norris cruised to the 2017 Fiji Open title on Sunday, finishing four shots clear of the competition. The top 10 was made up of no fewer than seven Australians, along with two players from New Zealand and Thailand's Atiwit Janewattananond.

The latter took a share of second place with a superb round of eight-under golf on Sunday but never came close to threatening Norris.

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Recap

Norris started the final day from a position of strength and never allowed the pack to threaten him, playing a round of five-under golf to card his best score of the tournament.

The 44-year-old did register three bogeys but more than made up for it with eight birdies, doing the bulk of his damage on the front nine. His work from the tee in particular was impressive, and he seemed relaxed from the opening hole.

The European Tour shared this footage of the final group starting:

As reported by Jim Tucker of the Courier Mail, the win was an unlikely one for Norris, who earned $250,000 for his troubles. As he told the reporter, he came very close to quitting the game altogether:

"It's taken me 21 years to have a win like this.

"I always thought I would, but I never did.

"I said it a couple of years ago when I was about to quit, I don't want to give the game away until I win a big tournament because I know I can. I would have become a forklift driver."

SUVA, FIJI - AUGUST 20:  Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand celebrates an eagle putt on the 17th hole during day four of the 2017 Fiji International at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on August 20, 2017 in Suva, Fiji.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Im
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Janewattananond's score of eight-under 64 was a course record, but it wasn't enough to catch up to the Australian. The emerging talent did manage to tie Australian duo David McKenzie and James Marchesani for second place, a remarkable achievement for the 21-year-old.

The Thai took his first Asian Tour win at the Bangladesh Open earlier this year, and his strong finish to the Fiji Open indicates big things are in store for Janewattananond.

Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe was the only member of the top 20 not to represent Australia, New Zealand or Thailand, taking a share of ninth place with a final round of one-under.