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Stunning 62 powers Norris into Steyn City lead

Stunning 62 powers Norris into Steyn City lead

Shaun Norris fired a brilliant bogey-free 62 to get to 18 under and take a three-shot lead into the weekend at the 2022 Steyn City Championship.

Shaun Norris

The South African picked up four shots in his last four holes as he came home in 30 and carded the lowest round of his DP World Tour career.

His 18 under par 36-hole total matches the record of countryman Ernie Els at the 2004 Heineken Classic but, with preferred lies in place after heavy rain earlier in the week at The Club at Steyn City, Norris will not enter the history books alongside the four-time Major Championship winner.

The remarkable score does, however, leave Norris three shots ahead of countryman James Hart du Preez as both men go in search of a maiden DP World Tour win.

Home favourite Dean Burmester was then at 13 under, a shot ahead of compatriot Oliver Bekker, Dane Joachim B. Hansen and Swede Sebastian Soderberg.

A truly international player, Norris spent three months on the Japan Golf Tour between August and November last year but he made the most of the trip, winning the Japan Open Golf Championship for his sixth win in Japan to go with another win on the Asian Tour and two on the Sunshine Tour.

On his return he finished third at the Joburg Open and has since also secured a top ten at the Ras al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital to sit 51st in the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

Norris became a father for the second time just two weeks ago and with brother Kyle on bag, he is loving his week in Johannesburg.

“Overall my game was great and I gave myself a lot of chances," he said. "I’m smiling out there and I’m very happy.

“My gameplan will stay the same. I’ll keep smiling, we’ll have fun out there and see what happens. 

"I’m really enjoying being back at home with my family and my brother and I are having a lot of fun on the golf course as well. He’s also not scared to tell me if he thinks I’m wrong, so we work very well together. It really feels like I’m playing at home.”

My gameplan will stay the same. I’ll keep smiling, we’ll have fun out there and see what happens

Du Preez had carded a 63 on day two and he followed it up with a bogey-free 66, making birdies on the first, fourth, seventh, ninth, tenth and 15th.

That handed him a four-shot lead after the early starters had finished and it looked for a long time like he would not be caught but Norris had other ideas.

The 39-year-old put an approach to eight feet at the second and then holed a 30-foot double-breaker on the sixth before a right-to-lefter on the next and a 25-footer on the ninth saw him turn in 32.

That kicked off a hat-trick of birdies as he played a smart shot with a three-wood around the green at the par-five tenth and put an approach to five feet at the 11th to get to 14 under.

Another beautiful iron to ten feet at the 15th put him in a share of the lead and when he holed an 18-footer for eagle at the par-five 16th, he was two ahead.

The remarkable run continued with an approach to four feet at the 17th and Norris was in command.

Burmester opened with a birdie and made a two-putt gain on the third before giving the shot back on the next.

Up-and-downs at the sixth and seventh saw him make a move but the best was yet to come as he holed a bunker shot on the ninth for a birdie, put his second and the tenth to eight feet for an eagle and then made another as he put his tee-shot at the par-four 11th to similar range.

He then made six pars in a row before a closing bogey took some of the gloss off an excellent 65.

Bekker's 63 containing an eagle and seven birdies was one shot fewer than Hansen, who was also bogey-free, while Soderberg carded a 67.

Italian Nino Bertasio, South Africa's Hennie du Plessis, Finn Mikko Korhonen, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Dane Niklas Nørgaard Møller were at 11 under.

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