One of the first ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia members to lodge his entry for the 2018 Northern Territory PGA Championship is also one of its most in-form.
New Zealander Mark Brown enjoyed a stellar 2017 season and has recently broken the magical 60 barrier during the second round of the Carrus Men's Open at the Tauranga Golf Club on New Zealand’s Charles Tour.
The 43-year-old’s bogey-free round of 59 included nine birdies and an eagle and, incredibly, emulated the score he also shot in this same event at the same golf course in 2014.
“I thought about it  when there were about five holes to go and was thinking about going even lower than 59 at one stage, but I didn’t play two or three holes well towards the end.” Brown said of the round.
“It feels amazing, this place is pretty special to me so it’s special to do it in front of all the members and supporters here.”
Brown’s infatuation with the Tauranga layout hasn’t been confined to single rounds only. He was seeking a fourth-consecutive win in the tournament and his fifth overall however rounds of 66-70 over the weekend consigned him to a tie for second place, one stroke behind the winner, Kerry Mountcastle.
Brown won the biggest title of his career ten years ago (the Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour), besting a field that included Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colin Montgomerie, and will make his third start in the Top End after finishing tied for 10th last year.
During the final round, Brown again showed off a penchant for low scoring with a sizzling round of 64 – one of twenty rounds in the 60s that Brown signed for in 13 Tour events last season - to finish at nine-under 275.
Brown’s finish in Palmerston was one of four top-ten results in a season that saw the Kiwi finish in 16th place on the Order of Merit with over $107,000 in earnings, highlighted by a tie for 6th place behind Cameron Davis at the Australian Open in November.
With a continuation of performances like these, he’s most definitely going to be one to watch at Palmerston come August.