In-form Jason Norris clinched a sudden-death playoff win at the PGA Legends Tour’s 2023 season finale to go with a share of the Sunshine Coast Series title on a day to remember at Headland Golf Club.
Despite closing with a 5-under 64 to finish at 6-under after 36 holes at the Living Choice Australian Legends Tour Championship, Norris was caught by 62-year-old Terry Price who beat his age with a spectacular 61.
The duo went to a playoff where Norris, the defending champion at Headland, triumphed with a par on the second hole to record his sixth PGA Legends Tour victory for 2023 and have the honour of being the first winner to have his name engraved on the Glenn Joyner Memorial Mug.
On a crowded leaderboard, Murray Lott (68-65) and joint day one leader Martin Peterson (65-68) finished just a shot back at -5.
In the Sunshine Coast Series played across seven rounds in four events, Norris remarkably came from 12 shots behind after the opening round at Beerwah to share top spot with Order of Merit champion Andre Stolz at 20-under-par.
The Gold Coast-based Victorian, battling jet lag after finishing tied for eighth at the Staysure Legends Tour’s final event in Mauritius, slipped to a 6-over 78 to kick off the six-round event but then followed up with rounds of 68-68 at the Sunshine Coast Masters at Twin Waters and 64-68 to clinch the Queensland Senior PGA Championship at Maroochy River.
His 64 in the final round at Headland allowed him to close down a two-shot lead that Stolz, the joint winner at Twin Waters, held after the first five rounds.
The early series leader, Beerwah winner David Bransdon, was tied for the lead coming into the final day but dropped to fourth with a closing 68.
WHAT THE WINNER SAID
“It’s a great thrill to come up here and win two in a row. I must like this place,” Norris said.
“It was an amazing score from Terry to break his age. To be honest, I thought if I lose to Terry it’s quite fitting since he’d broken his age with a 61 but I’m happy to take the win.
“I was a bit jetlagged at Beerwah after coming back from Mauritius and ended up 6-over and 12 behind. Andre’s a great player, the Player of the Year on the Legends Tour, and it was good to tie with him in the overall series.
“I’ll definitely be back next year.”
Norris’s 2024 plans also include a return to the Staysure Legends Tour in Europe, as well as attempting to Monday qualify for some PGA TOUR Champions events in the US.
-6: Jason Norris (68-64), Terry Price (71-61) – Norris won sudden-death playoff.
-5: Murray Lott (68-65); Martin Peterson (65-68)
-4: Brad Burns (68-66); Richard Gilkey (69-65); Andre Stolz (68-66)
SUNSHINE COAST SERIES
-20: Andre Stolz, Jason Norris
-18: Murray Lott
-15: David Bransdon
-13: Terry Price
-11: Brad Burns
-10: Brendan Chant
Qualifying School stage one for the 2024 PGA Legends Tour will be held at Sandhurst in Melbourne’s south on January 9-10 with final stage at the same venue on January 11-12.
The 2024 Tour will kick off with eight events in New Zealand in January-February.