43 year old New Zealander Mark Brown today became one of just two players to break 60 on two occasions when he achieved the feat during the second round of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour’s Carrus Tauranga Open in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty.
Jim Furyk achieved the same feat when he produced a round of 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour to add to his round of 59 at the 2013 BMW Championship.
For Brown, however, his two sub 60 rounds have come at the Tauranga Golf Club which he knows well as the former Wellingtonian is based in Tauranga these days.
Brown, a winner on both the European and Asian Tours earlier in his career, shot the same score four years ago, to join Richard Lee who also recorded the magical number at the former home of the New Zealand PGA Championship in 2010, the layout admittedly conducive to low scores but to perform such a feat on two occasions is quite a feat for Brown.
The score is the third best recorded in tournament golf worldwide, Furyk and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa having produced rounds of 58 in respective events on the PGA and Japan Tours.
Ishikawa’s fellow countryman Shigeki Maruyama also recorded a round of 68 in US Open Sectional Qualifying in 2010.
“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,” said Brown.
“I thought about it [shooting 59] when there was 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.
After 16 superb holes of golf, the highlight of his round and maybe even his career came on the par three ninth where he holed a flop shot from a hugely difficult spot.
“It was a terrible tee shot, I tried to hit a little six-iron in there and it was a really poor shot under that pressure, then got to the chip and it wasn’t the easiest shot either. I said to Micaela [caddie and wife] that it was either going to be a four or a two and just opened the face and let go.
“It was probably one of the best shots I’ve hit in my career.”
Brown, looking to win the Tauranga Open for the 4th consecutive year, leads by two over rookie New Zealand professional James Anstiss.