Late surge lifts Brown to Pro-Am title

his best for last.

The 24-year-old Colorado native recorded three birdies and an eagle on the final four holes Sunday at Vardon Golf Club to win the Western North Dakota Charity Pro-Am.

Brown, a former golfer at Colorado State, tied a tournament best by carding a 9-under 63 to finish three strokes ahead of the field at 266. He started the day three back and in a tie for fifth, but ended with the $25,000 grand prize. The tournament featured the tour’s top purse at $100,000.

Conversely, Tim Ailes of Ohio – who had won the previous two Dakotas Tour events – finished the day in a three-way tie for fifth after leading by one stroke through 72 holes. Ailes turned in his worst round of the tournament, a 1-under 71. Jeff Burton of Arizona, Minnesotan Jon Trasamar and Ailes ended up five back at 271 for the tournament.

Like Brown, Josh Esler also surged to the top with a 63. The Illinois native opened the day six back and in a tie for ninth but played bogey-free golf and birdied nine holes.

In a tie for third at 270 were Mark Baldwin of New Hampshire and Kent Eger, originally from Regina, Sask. The leader after 18 and 36 holes, Eger was bogey-free but couldn’t rebound from the unremarkable 71 he posted Saturday, when he let a four-stroke lead slip.

Bismarck native Tim Kunick finished with a 71, slipping from a tie for second into a two-way share of eighth place at 272. However, he still holds a stranglehold on the tour points lead with 2,335.83. Ailes is second at 1,430.33.

Californian Nick Delio also tied for eighth, while Andre Metzger of Sioux Falls, S.D., rounded out the top 10 at 273 for the tournament.

The Dakotas Tour, which includes 19 events, resumes Thursday in with the S&L Computer Services Inc. Oxbow Pro-Am at Oxbow (N.D.) Country Club.