Shooting 59 in golf is regarded as the ultimate achievement.

Even at club level it is a rarity but in professional golf tournament play every occasion generates international attention.

Yesterday Mark Brown shot the magic number in a dazzling display in round two of the Carrus Tauranga Open to jump 25 places to lead on 11-under.

When he began his round at 8.15am not many more than the starter and the Tauranga Golf Club's two friendly cats were there. By the end of his round, a good-sized crowd and local and national media were following Brown as news got out a 59 was on. That is what it means to golf aficionados.


Remarkably it was the second time Brown has shot 59 at the Carrus Tauranga Open. The last time was in 2014, also in the Friday round. That helped him to one of his four wins at the event.

He was believed to be only the second player in the world after American Jim Furyk to achieve the feat twice in an officially sanctioned tournament.

Brown started on tee 11 and had an eagle three on the 13th followed by birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to be out in 30. He put a stretch together of five birdies in the next six holes before missing out on opportunities on seven and eight for more birdies.

Then came the tricky little par-three, ninth hole playing into a stiffening cross breeze. Brown pushed his approach wide of the green into the lush, thick rough local members are used to playing out of.

To the astonishment of the gallery watching, and himself, Brown lobbed a wedge on to a tiny landing area and watched as the ball ran into the hole for another birdie.

He says the chip in was the shot of the day.

"I had a terrible tee shot and was in a pretty bad spot where I was. It is probably one of the best shots I have hit in my career actually. I said to Micaela [his caddie and wife] that it was either going to be a four or a two and just opened the face and let go."

To win the tournament for the fifth time in the past six years Brown knows he has to keep dropping birdie putts.

"The scoring is always good so I have to keep trying to make heaps of birdies over the weekend. I knew after yesterday I was behind the eight ball so the first job was to get back in contention.

"The course suits me here. It is reasonably tight and I just managed to hole a few putts today. That was the big difference."

Mark Brown hits an approach to the sixth green during his round of 59. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
Mark Brown hits an approach to the sixth green during his round of 59. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Overnight leader Daniel Hillier looked like he wanted to match Brown's score with a birdie, eagle, birdie start before the Manor Park amateur dropped two on the 14th to sign for a 68.

In second place is James Anstiss who shot 65 to go with an opening 66 to be two shots behind Brown. Manawatu amateur Kerry Mountcastle (67) is in a tie for third with Dongwoo Kang (64), Hillier and Lachie McDonald (65).

Auckland pro Dale Williamson moved up 29 places to ninth with a superb 63 that may have grabbed headlines on another day but for Brown's heroics.

Brittany Dryland leads the women's field by three shots on seven-under ahead of Caryn Khoo with Miree Jung a shot further back.