Yorkshire’s Dan Brown fights back to win English Amateur

Dan Brown

Yorkshire’s Dan Brown staged a tremendous fightback to win the men’s English Amateur Championship in an exciting final at Ganton Golf Club.

Brown, who is the third Yorkshireman in succession to win this title, was four down after 26 holes of the final against his good friend, George Bloor of Derbyshire. But he piled on the pressure with some excellent golf and was rewarded with a 2up victory.

Brown (Masham) received immediate congratulations from another Yorkshireman, the 2007 English Amateur champion and the 2016 Masters champion, Danny Willett.

He sent a message to the presentation, telling Brown: “I can remember the feelings you’re experiencing and your family and friends will rightly be very proud of you. You’re obviously on the right track so keep doing what you’re doing, be smart and effective with your practice and who knows how far you can go?”

The 36-hole final was an enthralling affair, played out before a very large crowd of spectators. In the morning 18 holes, the lead changed hands repeatedly as the pair traded birdies, an eagle and even a few ragged shots, but Bloor (Cavendish) came in for lunch 1up.

Bloor pushed on in the afternoon, winning the second with a par, the third with a birdie and then stringing a series of pars together to get to four up after eight.

Brown won his first hole of the afternoon session on the 9th, where he fired a great second straight at the pin. He pulled back another on the 11th but lost the 12th to a par after his second shot was bunkered.

It was then that Brown moved up a gear. He had winning birdies on the long 13th, with a neat up and down from beside the green, and on the 14th, where his tee shot almost reached the putting surface. On the 16th he was back to all square after Bloor found trouble in triplicate, thanks to trees and gorse.

Wayward drives from Bloor on both 17 and 18 then helped Brown to move ahead and claim his victory.

Afterward he commented: “It was crazy going four down and I knew I had to play some good golf to apply the pressure – and I did what I needed to do.

“I knew anything was possible, but George played such good golf that I had to hit some really good golf shots coming down those final few holes.”

“This means such a lot. I won the Yorkshire amateur four years ago and this is a similar feeling but on a much bigger stage.”

The 21-year-old has been convinced all season that he had a big win in him and he was determined to give his all in this event. “I’ve been playing really well but haven’t had the results I felt I deserved. Mum and dad and my coach are sick of hearing me say that there’s a big result coming, but it’s happened!”

And what of the Yorkshire hat trick, following Nick Marsh and Joe Dean? Brown’s quick response was: “Who’s going to win it next year?”

“I have grown up playing golf with Nick and Joe and it gives you that extra inspiration,” he said. “And Jamie Bower won the Brabazon – Yorkshire golf is looking good!”

The next date for both Brown and Bloor is next week’s European amateur championship.

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