This was Mark Brown's week, given that he turned 44 Tuesday, the same day he put himself in position to win the Met PGA Wednesday. This also is Mark Brown's year, despite the struggles that he had with his driver through most of it. He won the Long Island Open in June and won the season's final local major.

Both times, he had the same caddie, his assistant Jeff Pratt, and the same gallery, his wife Deb. The former proffered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made by the latter on the 16th hole Wednesday, when Brown needed a boost. He birdied two of the final three holes.

"This caps a really good year," he said. "I just worked out a deal with Tam O'Shanter for five years. That lightens up the mood, too."

No. 6 at Piping Rock definitely is John Gatta's hole. On Monday, Gatta, the head pro at Middle Bay Country Club, birdied the 530-yard par 5. On Tuesday, he eagled it. And Wednesday, he sank a 239-yard 19-degree hybrid shot for double eagle.


The Ed Douglas Memorial Golf Outing, benefiting the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, will be held Monday at Glen Cove Golf Course. Call 516-662-8437 . . . The Last Hope Animal Rescue's Third Annual Golf Outing will be Sept. 21, at Bergen Point Golf Course, West Babylon. Call 516-935-0503 . . . The Third Annual Pink Rock Golf Classic, benefiting the Fund for Uninsured Women at Mather Hospital's Fortunato Breast Health Center, will be Oct. 7 at Great Rock Golf Club, Wading River. Call 631-476-2723.

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