Brabazon Trophy – Day Three: On-form Enrique ready to be a hero

Enrique Dimayuga hopes a ‘bargain buy’ three-iron can help him enjoy some eagerly-awaited success in tomorrow’s final round of the Brabazon Trophy.

Dimayuga (pictured above) shot to the top of the leaderboard on day three of the English Men’s Open Amateur at Sherwood Forest Golf Club thanks to a brilliant round of 66.

The Walton Heath member is joined on the summit by Denmark’s Christoffer Bring who carded a best-of-the-day round of 65 to join Dimayuga on -11 for the championship.

England squad member Sam Bairstow is just one shot further back on -10 after shooting  67 for the second consecutive day.

France’s David Ravetto and halfway leader Jack Dyer from Boyce Hill in Essex are still very much in the hunt on nine under par for their 54 holes.

In total, there are 14 players within six shots of the lead teeing up what could be a dramatic final day in the fight to win one of amateur golf’s most prestigious trophies.

However, the bubbly Dimayuga will be the man to beat in the final round if a used club he bought for £50 from his local pro shop continues to behave.

“The shaft on the iron is really whippy so I just keep hitting these long looping draws,” said Dimayuga with a smile after confessing his poor form with the driver has resulted in him using it only once this week.

“The head on my regular three-iron snapped recently, so I went with this one.

“But it’s working well.

“I felt like I’m having fun. I’m not even thinking about what I’m doing.

“My iron play has been really solid and my swing is good and I’m dialled in in terms of yardages and judging the wind.

“I haven’t won anything in a long time and my form over the last calendar year has been pretty good.

“I’m just waiting for an opportunity to be in that final group and be in a position to take the win and I feel like it’s coming, hopefully, tomorrow.

“I can’t guarantee anything and I wouldn’t bet on myself just yet.”

When reminded that Tiger Woods won an Open Championship at Royal Liverpool 14 years ago hitting iron off every tee, Dimayuga said with a smile: “I won’t go as far as saying I’m Tiger Woods – I’d hope I can play to some of that form.”

Bring’s day included an eagle at the fifth hole and a birdie on the 14th after he holed a bunker shot (pictured above).

“I feel confident and will go out and see what happens,” admitted the golfer from Naestved, 70 miles south of Copenhagen.

“I got off to a slow start and then I made an eagle on the fifth and that kind of got me into the round. I made a lot of putts from the fifth through to the 12th and holed a bunker shot on 14 so that was great.”

On a day when the sun shone brightly and the Sherwood Forest landscape was illuminated with the purple heather that flanks its undulating fairways, the rain and gloom of Tuesday was a distant memory.

This was a classic ‘moving day’ with the entire field of 68 players harbouring hopes of going low. Many of them did – no fewer than 27 of golfers shot rounds under par.

Yorkshire’s Barclay Brown certainly made a move – a round of 66 taking him to -7 for the championship and into a tie for sixth.

Yet he will look back on his third round with a mixture of quiet satisfaction and total disbelief.

The Stanford University student was disarmingly honest about a day that saw him eagle the fifth with a putt that was charging 10 feet past and could be best summed up by a fluke hole-in-one on the 131-yard seventh hole.

“I’d like to say it was a great shot but I knifed it,” said Brown (pictured above) with a laugh.

“It’s my sixth hole in one, but not the prettiest.

“I wasn’t playing my best and had to grind it out.”

Another player emerging from the pack to give himself a slim hope of victory is English Men’s Amateur champion Jack Cope who made the cut right on the number thanks to a birdie on the 36th hole and then shot a round of 66.

When asked to compare his last two rounds, Gloucestershire’s Cope said: “Black and white – not just golf, but in terms of attitude as well.

“I’m very pleased to shoot 65 and get up the leaderboard.”

Full scores, tee-times, videos and images from the Brabazon can be found on the championship homepage

Photography: Leaderboard