Brown takes shot in Web.com event

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Relaxed attitude has led to 4 top 5 finishes on NGA

By Sports Postings

Shelbyville professional golfer Brandon Brown might only be four tournaments into his 2014 season and about eight months removed from eye surgery, but don’t believe for a minute that he will use that as an excuse for his play.
Of course, it’s hard to use any excuses when you’ve had four Top 5 finishes, including one win, in four tourneys.
The quick and impressive start has been a pleasant surprise for Brown.
“I didn’t see myself playing so well early,” the regular NGA Pro Tour player said. “I’ve really been able to have a good attitude and be relaxed, and I think that has helped a great deal. My attitude towards golf has been better than ever and some of that comes with age and experience.”
Brown, who celebrated his 32nd birthday last month, is off to a blistering start winning a cool $17,767, good enough for 12th on the NGA Tour money list. Only two players - James Erkenbeck (3 events $19,492) and David Skinns (2 events $19,450) - have earned more money playing in fewer events than Brown. They rank 10th and 11th, respectively. The nine others in front of Brown have played in at least eight events.
But those winnings and four Top 5’s aren’t the only things Brown has to show for his season.
Thanks to his combined $12,517 earnings in the Milton Martin Honda Classic, which he won, and the Cutter Creek Classic, in which he tied for fourth, Brown earned an exemption into this week’s Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy, Utah. First-round tee times had not been released by press time.
Brown was one of only four players to earn the restricted exemption and join the field of 156 golfers competing for a PGA Tour card. The event will be shown on the Golf Channel from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 6:30-9 p.m. Saturday and 7-9 p.m. Sunday.
Just how much bigger is the Web.com than the NGA?
Last year’s winner of the Utah Championship, Steven Alker, pocketed $112,500 for his victory.
Brown has played in both Web.com and PGA Tour events in the past. In the 2013 U.S. Open, he missed the cut by just three strokes. Also last year he tied for 60th in the Web.com’s News Sentinel Open, but missed the cut in the United Leasing Championship. In 2012 he finished 62nd at the PGA’s Reno-Tahoe Open and tied for 24th at the Web.com’s Stadion Classic.
Even with previous experience on the country’s top two tours, this exemption into the Utah Championship bears a tremendous weight on Brown and his future.
“Personally, it’s a dream come true, and now I’m just focused on winning and continuing to move on eventually to the PGA Tour. This is such a huge opportunity,” he said. “Professionally, I’m just so excited about how I’ve been playing. I am able to put less pressure on myself and play with nothing to lose.
“In the past I put too much pressure on myself and would focus on trying to place at, or above, a certain spot whereas now I just focus on playing well, like I know I can, and hopefully this is a jump-start to where I want to be.”
One reason Brown has been able to continue as a pro golfer since finishing his career at Eastern Kentucky University is his ability to put bad shots and bad luck behind him and focus on the next shot ahead, something many golfers of all skill levels struggle with.
“Each shot is different, you know, and I definitely don’t have it down to a science by any means,” the 2012 NGA Pro Tour Player of the Year and the tour’s two-time money winner said. “Experience helps a lot, and I keep going back to attitude but that’s the main thing, my attitude is so much better. I’m able to relax more now because of my family.”
Brown and his wife, April, have daughter and another baby on the way.
“My family is way more important than golf, so it helps me relax and just have fun,” he said. “I never really think too much about that [other] stuff. It actually puts a smile on my face, you know, it’s just another challenge. The odds are really against you in golf to begin with, and we all deal with that. It’s not about trying to prove people wrong, or anything like that, it’s just a challenge I look forward to as a competitive person and professional.”
Brown has set some high goals for himself this week.  
“My goal for this week is to win the tournament,” he said. “I never really thought about winning before, it was always just trying to place high enough to continue. Now I’m looking to actually win and go to the PGA.”