Not only does Sandgren have 21 match wins since, but he leaves New Zealand with the trophy after not losing a set throughout the ATP 250 event.
"I'm a little bit at a loss for words actually", Sandgren said.
"A lot of sacrifice goes into even making a final", he added.
"I'm just grateful, just grateful to be out here to play and compete".
The nerves showed with 29 unforced errors from Norrie and 17 from Sandgren, a quarter-finalist in the Australian Open previous year.
"I just want to say a big congrats to Tennys, I know myself and my team have a lot of respect for you and you've had a lot of setbacks in your career with injury so congrats for today, you were too good", Norrie said. The former University of Tennessee student-athlete would reach his first ATP Tour final in Houston.
Anyway, his serve wasn't there like in the opening four matches, hitting a double fault at 2-2 to hand another break to Sandgren who hit a service victor in game eight to save a break point and move 5-3 up. In fact, Norrie defeated the American in three consecutive ATP Challenger Tour events in September and October of 2017.
Tennys delivered more effective numbers behind his first serve and that made the crucial difference, paired with the fact he repelled four out of five break points he faced to mount the pressure on the other side of the net. And for his efforts, he claims 150 points and $49,205.
The American will drop 360 points on the Monday after the Australian Open ends thanks to his quarter-final result previous year.
"To finally be able to take that step further and get my first win, it's something that's really special in front of friends and family and on the courts I grew up [on]". Sandgren starts his 2019 Australian Open against Yoshihito Nishioka.