Mark Brown wins Tauranga Open
BY NZ Golf | 30 Sep 2012
Wellington professional Mark Brown turned on a master-class in the final round of the Charles Tour’s Carrus Open at the Tauranga Golf Club in New Zealand’s North Island to claim the title by four shots today in fine and hot conditions.
The former European Tour professional, who began the final round four shots back from the overnight leader Blair Riordan, carded an eight under par 62 to win by four from Taupo professional Troy Ropiha.
Brown came fast out of the blocks and was six under through seven holes to claim the lead in the defining stretch of the tournament.
The 36-year-old recorded his second win on The Charles Tour after claiming the Taranaki Open in 2006 which kick-started his career back into life and was the catalyst for his Asian Tour and European Tour success. To win again was a special feeling.
“It sounds awesome to be the Carrus Open champion,” said the 36-year-old.
“I haven’t won for a while since I won a couple of titles in 2008 and even though you play bigger tournaments around the world you still feel the pressures of trying to close it out and win a golf tournament so that was pleasing what I have been working on stood up under that pressure.”
Third-round leader Riordan felt the pressure. The 22-year-old amateur from Takaka faded in the final round with a six over par 76 in the final round to finish in a share of fourth place and local amateur
Brad Kendall claimed the leading amateur honour, and third place, by two shots.
But it was the performance of Brown that the locals and pros were talking about over their beers in the afternoon sun.
“It was unbelievable,” said the 30-year-old Ropiha who was one of Brown’s playing partners.
“That was a lesson in ball striking – he didn’t miss a shot all day. It was like he was just playing a casual round with the boys. He has been in that position many times before and today it showed.”
Brown had the start he had been looking for all week at the Tauranga Golf Club. He birdied the first, drove the third green for a two-putt birdie, birdied four and six and then made eagle from 40 feet on the par 5 7th to jump into the outright lead.
“That was probably the turning point for me. I hit driver, five iron to about 40 feet and the putt was going way too hard across that green to bottom left – it was probably going to go off the green but it jumped up and went in – that moment there got me going and got me into the lead. That was huge.
Brown has played three Charles Tour events in 2012 and loves the concept.
“I love playing at home. It is a shame that as New Zealand golfers we don’t get to do it very much. I love the Tauranga Golf Club and Jay Carter, the Director of Golf, is a good friend of mine who I stayed with all week and had a great time.
“Whenever I get a chance I will always play the Charles Tour events. I played a few this year and have loved being part of them. I am hoping to get on a main tour but if not I will be playing these.
“We could do with 10 – 12 of these events and I think it would be great for New Zealand Golf to see The Charles Tour grow.”
He hopes the win is a catalyst for another resurgence in his game after doing hard work both on and off the golf course.
“I have a good run coming up with lots of events in Asia and Australasia. It is just exciting. I have made a few lifestyle changes. I realized that I haven’t got too many years left and hopefully I will get to the Olympics. That would be a goal for sure.”
Men’s Scores after round 4 – Sun 30 Sep 2012 (Par 70)
263 Mark Brown (P, New Zealand) 64 71 66 62
267 Troy Ropiha (P, New Zealand) 65 67 66 69
271 Bradley Kendall (Mt Maunganui Golf Club) 64 71 67 69
273 Kieran Muir (P, New Zealand) 68 68 71 66, Peter Spearman-Burn (P, New Zealand) 69 66 69 69, Blair Riordan (Takaka Golf Club) 63 65 69 76
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