Mark Brown voted European player of month

An outstanding two week spell in India which saw him win for the first time on both The European Tour and the Asian Tour has resulted in New Zealander Mark Brown being named as The European Tour Golfer of the Month for February.
The 33 year old, who considered quitting professional golf in 2003, proved he had made the right decision to rededicate himself to the game with a sensational end to the month which caught the eye of the judging panel which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers, as well as journalists from radio and television.
Brown’s first victory came in the Sail Open Golf Championship at Jaypee Greens on the Asian Tour where he held off the strong challenge of local favourite Jyoti Randhawa before he outlasted a world class field the following week to win the Johnnie Walker Classic at the DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi.
The dual successes helped Brown undertake a meteoric rise up the Official World Golf Ranking to a career high of 64th from 322nd at the start of 2008 and he now occupies the proud position of the highest placed New Zealand golfer on the list.
“I joined The European Tour last year as an Affiliate Member and hoped if I could play half decently I could possibly get into the top 115 on the Order of Merit,” he said. “But now to be in the winners’ category, I am still pinching myself. This is a fantastic award and I am very proud of that.
“The first win was special as it was my first on Tour but the second, against a field as strong as The European Tour in the Johnnie Walker Classic, was incredible. It has opened a few doors to me so I am looking forward to some new opportunities in the future.”
Brown emerged as the panel’s selection from a strong list of contenders, headed by World Number Three Ernie Els, who followed up his tie for sixth place in the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters – his third top ten of The 2008 European Tour season – with his first victory on the US PGA Tour in nearly four years when he came from behind to pip fellow European Tour Member Luke Donald in the Honda Classic.
Other winners from the month considered were; India’s SSP Chowrasia, who thrilled the home spectators with his maiden European Tour triumph in the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters; Felipe Aguilar, who became the first Chilean golfer to win on The European Tour when he triumphed in the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open; and South Africa’s James Kingston who won the Vodacom Championship on his home Sunshine Tour.
Brown is the second monthly winner of the 2008 season, the accolade for January having gone to Germany’s Martin Kaymer following his success in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. At the end of the season, all the monthly winners will be considered for the award of European Tour Golfer of the Year.