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Brown bags maiden pro title at IGT CMR Pro-Am

Brown

Johannesburg rookie Luke Brown produced a stunning eagle finish to seal his first pro win on the IGT Challenge Tour in the CMR Golf Club Pro-Am on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old prodigy was composure and confidence personified as he boxed a 12-foot putt for eagle to end an enthralling three-man final round battle at CMR Golf Club.

Brown closed with a six-under-par 66 to beat Jason Rossiter by two strokes on 19-under 197. Joint overnight leader Ruan Korb finished a further stroke back.

‘It was a tight fight from start to finish,’ said Brown. ‘The three of us were still neck-in-neck after 17 holes and it could have gone either way. When I won my first IGT Challenge Tour title last year, I was still an amateur and it feels unbelievably good to get this first pro win under the belt.’

Brown and Korb went into the final round tied on 13 under with Rossiter just one off the pace.

Over the first 17 holes, there was little to separate the trio. Korb edged into the early lead with a birdie start and moved to 16 under with back-to-back birdies at the 4th and 5th. Brown birdied the 4th and Rossiter had an eagle at the par five to stay in touch at 14 under.

Then Brown broke free of his playing partners with three birdies on the bounce from the 6th.

‘I hit a 6-iron into the first short hole and drained a 30-footer to start the birdie run,’ said the Wanna Be A Champion Academy player. ‘I hit it close at the 7th from 130m out, and boxed the putt and I hit it to two foot at the second short hole [the 8th].

Korb dropped to 15 under with a bogey at the 7th and Rossiter birdied the 9th to join Korb.

The last three holes decided the outcome of the tournament after Korb made it a three-way tie with a birdie at the 16th.

‘I thought for sure we’d have a playoff. Then Ruan bogeyed 17th and made par at the last for a 69. The last hole has a tough tee shot, with trees on both sides and water trouble. I hit a pretty good tee shot and only had 170m left for my second. I hit a soft 7-iron into the wind to 12 foot and holed the putt. It was sweet making that putt after the three-putt bogeys.’

Rossiter also had an eagle chance, but the Krugersdorp rookie three-putted for par and had to settle for second after a final round 67.

Brown’s victory lifted him to ninth on the IGT Challenge Tour Money List and he hopes this bodes well for his goal to compete on the Sunshine Tour next season.

‘I’m really pleased that I kept calm and composed during the round,’ said the Sunninghill native. ‘It just goes to show how much I’ve learned this season to cope with the pressure … I’m really happy with my progress.

‘This gives me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can play my way into the top 10 on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour in the last five events to go straight to the Sunshine Tour. But if I don’t, this still helps me to build experience for Q-School. Ultimately, my goal is to step it up to the next level.’

Final Result
197 – Luke Brown (65 66 66)
199 – Jason Rossiter (67 65 67)
200 – Ruan Korb (64 67 69)
204 – Eric Nel (68 66 70)
205 – Jason Roets (66 72 67)
206 – Stephan Erasmus (70 69 67)

Photo: Luke Brown, by CJ du Plooy


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