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Brown's breakthrough

If perseverance brings about just rewards, it was a quality that paid in spades for Dan Brown when he landed his maiden DP World Tour title at the ISPS Handa World Invitational. The former English Amateur champion and big brother of this year’s champion Ben, plied his trade on the EuroPro and Challenge tours for more than seven years between his first and second main European Tour starts. He’d already looked the real deal in 2023 making 13 straight cuts and 16 out of 19. Everything finally came together for him at Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland, where he blasted out of the blocks with an opening 64. It wasn’t entirely plain sailing for 28-year-old Brown, who began the last day with a 5-stroke lead. Ironically it was another famous golfing brother chasing him down in Alex Fitzpatrick, who had earned his place in the field thanks to his own first professional win on the Challenge Tour two weeks earlier. Brown kicked off with a pair of bogeys but soon birdied them back. He even got under par before bogeys on 10, 11 and 12 saw Fitzpatrick close to within two shots. But Brown birdied three of the next four to card a 69 and win by five. It has been a long road to the winner’s circle for Brown, who finished 30th on last season’s Challenge Tour Road to Mallorca before graduating from Qualifying School. “It feels amazing,” he said, “I could never have dreamed this up in the past however many years and months. (My mum was) blubbering down the phone. I’m over the moon, but it probably hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t know. I almost still feel like someone’s going to crop up and say there’s another day left or something. Crazy. “Alex was playing really well. Probably played considerably better than I did. I just managed to hit some good shots after the blip on 11, 12, 13. Then I holed a couple of really nice putts and then I suppose once I hit that iron shot into 17, that was kind of fun. I thought ‘this should be it if I don’t do anything stupid, this should be over here’. “I had his card. I was marking his card, so I knew exactly what he was doing. The leaderboard, every time I looked over my shoulder, the leaderboard was right next to me. So you can’t get away from it. As much as people say that they don’t watch leaderboards, they definitely do.”


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