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Ben lands English Amateur

Ben Brown holed out a sensational chip at the second extra hole to take the English Amateur Championship at Ferndown GC and follow in the footsteps of big brother Dan, who won the same title in 2016. Brown was up against the in-form Carris Trophy winner Tyler Weaver and the pair went toe-to-toe in an enthralling final which was reduced to 18-holes, their semi-finals having had to be pushed back by bad weather. The Bury St Edmunds golfer was 2-up early on, but Brown pulled one back by the turn and then won three out of four holes to lead 2-up walking to the 15th tee. It was Weaver’s turn to dig deep however, and he took 15 and 17, a pair of pars on the last sending them into extra holes. The Romanby 18-year-old had already been down the 18th a few times, including in the morning when he and Rotherham’s Jack Whaley had slugged out a hair-raising semi-final. Whaley won the 1st but after losing four holes on the trot to be 3-down after nine, he battled back to within one. Both parred the last to leave Brown the victor. “I was quite relaxed on the 1st tee,” the new champion recalled. “Winning the Yorkshire Matchplay last year, plus the Fairhaven Trophy this year, gives you confidence. I’d also had matches go down the last a couple of times and come out on top, so that helps your nerves.” In the final’s second extra hole, Weaver gave himself a good look at birdie on the par- 3. Brown’s 6-iron was wide right and took a nasty bounce too. Cue the sweetest of 58-degree wedges for the ball to disappear into the hole. He didn’t even manage a smile! “I don’t think I’ve got it in me to go absolute nuts. I’m not the fist-pumping sort,” he said. “He’d hit his tee shot to 15-20 feet, although it looked closer. I’d gotten a bare lie, a bit muddy, but I caught it clean and it dropped. He still had a putt to halve it, but came up about a foot short.” Going forward, Ben wants to eventually follow in brother Dan’s footsteps. “I’ve been out to caddie for him a couple of times on tour and that’s been a big help to me,” he added. “You see up close what it takes at that level, and playing and practising with Dan has been really positive. Knowing that he can do it ... there’s no reason to think I can’t.” No fewer than eight Yorkshire golfers made the knockout stages. Torrential rain forced the second round of qualifying to be abandoned, with the top 64 the two courses, Ferndown and Broadstone progressing. Tom Grimes (Moortown) and Freddie Parlby (Hallowes) missed out on countback at level par, with Lindrick’s Tom Osborne just a shot back and Moortown’s Oli Cage on +2. In knockout, Rotherham’s Charlie Daughtrey had a win at the 20th over Walton Heath’s Monty Holcombe. Yorkshire Men’s Champion Max Berrisford progressed 4&3, the same margin as Josh Berry, while eventual champion Brown had a 3&2 victory, the same margin as both Whaley and Lindrick’s Callum Macfie. Jake Wallis lost a tight match 1-up to Harrison Arnold of Castle Royle as Michael Hay (Hunley Hall) progressed thanks to 2&1 win. In the last 32, Daughtrey bowed out at the 21st, Berrisford went down 5&3 to Luke Metcalf and Macfie went down 3&1, while Hay earned an impressive 2&1 victory over the highly rated England man Harley Smith. Brown won 1-up and Berry (4&3). The last 16 threw up some tight tussles but all four Yorkshiremen came through, Hay at the 20th, Berry 1-up over England regular Arron Edwards-Hill, Whaley 1-up over Woburn’s Mark Stockdale and Brown 2&1 over Luke Metcalf. In the quarters both Brown and Berry enjoyed relatively comfortable 4&3 wins, with Whaley a 3&2 winner, the same margin that eventual finalist Weaver produced over Michael Hay.


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