23rd August 2017
44 year-old Australian golfer Jason Norris has defied the odds and taken the biggest win in his 21-year career last Sunday at the Fiji International. The Adelaide battler has defied death in 2007 and come close to giving golf away a few times since, Norris’ victory at Natadola Bay is life-changing and not least of all because of the $250,000 prize money.
Norris is lucky to even be alive after a bicycle crash in Coolum, Queensland in 2007 left him with horrific injuries. He broke his jaw in 14 places and was literally one centimetre from death. It’s been a long road for Norris who says that although he’s never played as well since the accident, he’s certainly mentally stronger. While playing the Queensland PGA in 2013 Norris contracted viral meningitis and again considered retiring from the game.
However Norris never stopped believing in a breakthrough and last weekend it came as he scored a 5-under-par final round 67 to finish 14-under-par overall, triumphing by 4 shots. Aside from picking up the winner’s cheque, Norris also scored European and Asian tour cards for the next one and two years respectively.
"I said it a couple of years ago when I was about to quit the game, 'I don't want to give the game away until I win a big tournament because I know I can'," Norris said.
It seems the Fiji golf tournament was his time to shine. Having not won a tournament since the Vic Open 7 years ago, Norris overcame the putting yips he had been prone to by practicing on the hotel’s mini-golf course. He putted sensationally all day, forgoing his usual flip flopping between grips to maintain a backhand grip that sent him to victory in a final, confident round.