It’s Mark Brown again, again and again at Tauranga

Mark Brown added to his remarkable record in the Carrus Open at Tauranga when last month he won it for the fourth time.
Brown went into the final day of the tournament with a one-shot lead but when he racked up five birdies in his first nine holes he was already being hailed the winner by many.
His hot form, however, cooled in the final nine holes with a score of even par but that was enough for him to prevail by two shots and add to his victories of 2012, 2014 and 2016.
It also took his winning tally on the Charles Tour, sponsored by Jennian Homes, to five. He had won the Taranaki Open in 2006.
Brown was pleased at the way he handled the final day pressure which he said made the win a little different from the previous three.
“It feels great and this one feels different to all the others,’’ Brown said.
“I played really well on the final day and showed patience which I haven’t shown of recent.’’
The Tauranga course at Gate Pa, partly surrounds a horse-racing track and it is not uncommon for some shots to end up there.
“I drove it straight which was the key,’’ Brown added.
“I hit every drive bar one exactly where I was aiming and when you do that you’re not in the racetrack which makes things a lot easier.”
There had been threats of players shooting 59 throughout the week on the par 70 course which meant his overnight lead was never safe going into the final round.
“I knew a handful of players were going to shoot about 63 so I had to be one of them rather than having a lead and trying to defend it.
“I had to be aggressive and I was, so it was a nice way to start.”
To see a few thousand people swarm to the course to watch the last event of the Charles Tour season showed golf in New Zealand is growing and that the Charles Tour was only getting stronger.
“It was awesome to see a lot of people out by the tees and around the greens,’’ said Brown, a former Wellingtonian who these days is based in Tauranga.
“It’s a nice sight to see golf in New Zealand getting popular again. I love playing these tournaments. There are great young amateurs and the girls are out here playing in what is a great format. Both fields are strong and it creates a perfect contest here in New Zealand.”
To add to the day’s drama, Gareth Paddison deservedly won the Jennian Homes Trophy for topping the Charles Tour league table.
But it was not without stress. Paddison, who was leading the points race entering the final week, got off to a slow start with scores of 67 and 71 on the first two days before shooting matching weekend scores of 63 to finish in a tie for second.
“It feels fantastic, to come here needing a good finish and to deliver in the end is pleasing,’’ Paddison said.
“It wasn’t playing on my mind until late in the piece when I wondered if I had done enough and it turns out I did.”
To take home the title and an additional $5000, he had to finish inside the top three which he did by a whisker and automatically gain a start in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open next year.
Paddison, from Wellington, was the form player of the Charles Tour with his second placing at Tauranga following wins in the two Auckland events of the Akarana Open and the Muriwai Open.
“I think I have won probably over $25,000 in the last five weeks which is amazing on our local circuit, so it’s growing quickly thanks to all the support from everyone involved.”
Joining Paddison in second place at Tauranga was Harry Bateman who became the bridesmaid for the fourth time on the Charles Tour. Bateman will be searching for ways to change this by the time next season rolls around.
A large percentage of the final day’s gallery would have been following local boy Jared Pender who also had his best finish of the year, falling just three shots short in third place.