Date: November 24, 2012
Author: Dean Wedlake, Omnisport

Aussies look to chase down Brown

Mark Brown is in pole position to break a nine-year Kiwi drought at the New Zealand Open, forging a three-stroke lead thanks to a six-under 66 third round on Saturday the equal lowest round of the day. Brown was tied for 17th at the 36-hole mark but made the most of conditions to stand alone atop the leaderboard on five under. The 37-year-old from Wellington has long dreamed of lifting the Brodie Breeze Trophy and the Clearwater Resort in Christchurch could be the place he finally collects it. Mahal Pearce was the last Kiwi to win the event, in 2003 at Middlemore, and it is now upon Brown&aposs shoulders to ensure the drought does not live on another year. His nearest chasers are a pair of Australians – Peter Wilson and teenage amateur Jake Higginbottam – who are at two under the card. Kiwi Michael Hendry joins Australians Peter O&aposMalley, Craig Hancock and Steven Jeffress in a share of fourth place on one under. Hendry had been in pole position, along with Brown, at five-under for the tournament but hit the skids halfway through his round. Both he and Brown were six-under through 10 holes on Saturday and while the latter held firm, Hendry blew up to card a two-under par 70.