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After two rounds in the Web.com Tour’s News Sentinel Open, Brandon Brown hadn’t just made the cut, he was in the hunt.
And although back-to-back days of over-par golf dashed his hopes of a victory, Brown still earned a paycheck from the PGA’s version of the Triple-A tour.
Brown of Shelbyville tied for 60th place in the 4-day event, which ended Sunday, with 1-under-par 283 (69-67-72-75) at Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville, earning him $1,608.75.
Brown, the NGA Tour’s reigning Player of the Year, was a last-minute qualifier (he shot an 8-under 64 last Monday during a qualifying event at Tennessee National Golf Club) for the News Sentinel Open.
Three days later Brown teed off in his second Web.com Tour event of the year – he previously missed the cut in the United Leasing Championship Presented by PTI in late June – and opened up with 69. He finished his round with 3 birdies, 14 pars and a bogey.
Playing the back nine first, Brown made birdie at the par-5 10th, then followed that up with four pars before making another birdie on the par-4 15th and pars at the remaining three holes to post a 34. Brown then made 5 on the par-4 1st before bouncing back with a birdie two holes later and making pars on the final six holes for 35.
Brown’s second round featured some highs and lows – he had one eagle, seven birdies, eight pars, one double-bogey and one-triple bogey – but produced a 67 (36-31).
Playing the front nine first he made birdie at the par-3 second before a triple-bogey on the par-4 fourth, a birdie on the par-3 sixth and a double-bogey on the par-4 seventh.
That was as bad as it got for Brown, though. In fact it only got better for him, much better. He played the next four holes in 5-under-par, with birdies at Nos. 8 and 9, both par-4s, an eagle at the par-5 10th and birdie at the par-4 11th. After three consecutive pars he made birdie at No. 15, par at 16 and 17 and birdie at 18 as he finished the round tied for eighth overall.
In Saturday’s third round Brown carded a 1-over 72 (34-38). He recorded 3 birdies, 13 pars, 1 bogey and 1 triple-bogey.
Playing the front nine first, he made bogey at the par-4 third before birdies at Nos. 5 and 8. He then made par on the next eight holes before a triple-bogey on the par-4 17th and a birdie at 18.
Brown, who entered Sunday’s final round tied for 36th, shot 4-over 75, in a round that included 1 birdie, 12 pars and 5 bogeys.
He began his round with a birdie on the par-5 10th and made pars for the next eight holes to post 1-under 35 on the back nine. The front nine, however, got the better of Brown. He made bogeys on three of the first four holes and, after pars at Nos. 5 and 6, bogeys at 7 and 8 on his way to finishing with 40.
Brown’s biggest problem Sunday was finding the greens, he hit just 38.9 percent in regulation.
But a bright spot for Brown was that he had the longest drive of the tourney, during the third round, blasting a tee shot 355 yards. For the four days Brown ranked third in driving distance, averaging 306.3 yards per.
However he tied for 40th in driving accuracy (69.6 percent) and 60th in greens in regulation (66.7 percent).
This week Brown is scheduled to return to the NGA Tour, playing in the Eagle’s Landing Classic at Eagle’s Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga. He is scheduled to tee off his first round at 8:06 a.m. Thursday