Brown wins first Tour title with NSW Open
It was ten years in the making but Anthony Brown secured his first Australasian Tour title winning the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge on Sunday, making birdie at the second extra hole to defeat New Zealander Josh Geary in a playoff.
The pair finished at 14-under after a challenging day on the course with strong gusty winds making play challenging.
Anthony Brown (Credit: Anthony Powter)
“Right now it’s just good to get over the line,” said Brown. “I had a good start at the beginning of the week and had a great finish.”
James Nitties, who at one stage also had a share of the lead during the final round, finished in third position at 13-under, a three putt on the par-3 16th ending his chances of making the play-off.
US Amateur Champion, Gunn Yang finished at 12-under to collect the low-amateur medal and 4th position. Rohan Blizard, Michael Long and Matthew Giles rounded out the top-5 finishing at 10-under.
Brown moves to 14th on the Australasian Order of Merit and heads to the Australian Masters starting this Thursday at Metropolitan Golf Club with new found confidence.
“My whole perspective as to how I now attack a golf course is different,” says Brown.
“I focus much more now on how I’m actually playing the course, rather than standing there worrying what is happening from a technical perspective.”
Brown has been close before in collecting the “W”, with a tied runner-up finish at the 2012 Australian PGA, as well as numerous top-3 finishes. Yet the win on Sunday on a day when it became more a game of survival, Brown held his nerve.
When Nitties three putted the 16th, a 181 metre par 3, Geary looked to have the title but the New Zealander did the same on the 17th a 151 metre par 3 to drop a shot. A birdie on the last saw Geary into the play-off.
“It was tough, but full marks to Anthony on this win,” said Geary.
“On days like this you need to be patient and I felt I did the right things out there. Obviously, the missed putt on 17 hurt, but overall I played well given the conditions.”
Brown in contrast was the best player in the field to adapt to the conditions.
“It was a challenge in those conditions and putting was difficult,” said Brown.
“I made a great par on 12 and on 13, and ended the holes into the wind. As long as I played those holes solidly I knew that I was in with a shot coming in.”
Playing in the second last group Brown was first into the clubhouse with a fourth-round 69 to finish at 14-under as Yang, Nitties and Geary as they battled the closing stretch of holes with bogeys as gusts of winds above 40 km/h tested their nerve.
“This is a great win for me,” said Brown.
“To say it is a massive relief would be an understatement. It feels great.”