Worst shot in 20 years helped Brown win

March 2nd, 2008 - 7:49 pm ICT by admin  

(Interview)
By V. Krishnaswamy
Gurgaon, March 2 (IANS) Mark Brown called it his worst shot in 20 years. And for the time the ball was in air over the water hazard guarding the 18th green, Brown’s heart was in his mouth. But it was a lucky shot. It sailed over that huge water body, and the ball dipped in and seemed to be heading into it. But it just about cleared the lake, hit the slope of bank and the force of hitting it with a full club carried it over and onto the edge right of the green.

Brown, who held his face in hands gave a sigh of relief and then walked towards the green. He two-putted from there for another birdie, his fifth in seven holes for a card of 67 and a total of 18-under 270 to win the tri-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic. It was his second consecutive win after his triumph at the SAIL Open at the Jaypee Greens last week.

“It’s the worst shot I’ve hit since I was 14! Totally out of the heel and so thin and I thought it was completely in the water. It couldn’t have gone anywhere else. But luckily I had plenty of club with a six iron and it must have just scraped over. It was quite a relief after that,” said Brown.

After a winless 12 years as professional during which frustration forced him to turn to teaching in a Development Programme for a living, he has now won twice in two weeks and the Tours of Australasia, Asia and Europe are open to him till the end of 2010.

Drawing a parallel with last week, Brown said: “It wasn’t easy. I haven’t experienced anything like this. Last week, I had a one-shot lead going (into the final round) and I really played well in the last round. I thought if I could play solid again, I would have a shot. I played terrible on the front side. I don’t think I hit a fairway or green and got to the 10th and said to myself let’s have a solid nine holes and the birdies started falling. The rest is a dream.”

On what turn his career will take from here, the smiling Brown said: “It means a lot. I’ve been struggling for a long time now. It’s good to have the security of a major tour. Asia is fantastic and is a great tour and is coming up as well but I’ll sit down in a week or so and think about it and what has been going it. It’s been going on too fast.”

“I would really love to (play in Europe). Asia has been so fantastic for me the last year and a half. The Asian Tour has been a great stepping for me coming back into the game and I love to support them as well. So, hopefully, we’ll play a bit of both. I haven’t thought about it,” he added.

Searching for words, the modest Brown said: “Incredible. It’s amazing to have my name there (with some illustrious winners in this tournament). I’ve worked extremely hard for this. It’s a dream come true.”

Talking of his career, he added: “It’s huge, you know. I played for eight to nine years and first time round, I wasn’t good enough physically and mentally. I worked for three years and to come back, I’ve worked really hard the last year and half and my coach Mal Tongue has been a tremendous support in my career. It’s been a blur in the last two weeks.”

For years he didn’t know what it was to win, but he has now done twice in two weeks. Watch out from here.

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