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Brown stays the course

Champion Ben Brown with YUGC President Terry Collins and runner-up Tom North

Romanby's Ben Brown is a likeable lad, but his display in the Yorkshire amateur match play final at The Bradford suggested he does not like sharing as he downed Howley Hall's Tom North 7&5 with only two holes halved. The England Boys international's appetite for success saw him claim no fewer than nine of the 13 holes played, with recent Bowling Green State University graduate North needing birdies to win two, at the third and sixth. North, recent emphatic winner of the Lee Westwood Trophy, was familiar with the pattern, his morning semi-final with Rotherham's Charlie Daughtrey having gone 13 holes without a half. But while he was able to claim a marginal majority against former Yorkshire amateur champion Daughtrey to record a 3&1 win, Brown was simply relentless in his pursuit of the crown. The younger brother of former England amateur champion Dan produced a handful of birdies and never looked back from the moment North surrendered the first despite driving within a few feet of the 321-yard par-4. Brown made a routine two-putt par from 15ft while North would elect to take putter for his second shot – and use it less willingly three more times for a bogey and concession of the hole when he had appeared to be in the box seat. Seventeen-year-old Brown's birdie from eight feet at the second after North had tangled with a greenside bunker doubled his advantage although his opponent appeared to be settling into the match with a hole-winning birdie after an excellent tee shot to five feet at the 153-yard third. Both men were around pin high with their tee shots at the 278-yard downhill fourth, but Brown had the easier shot in and put it to four feet for another birdie and a restoration of his two-hole advantage. He made an up-and-down par at the next to go three ahead after North had gone long with his approach into a small copse of trees at the back of the green, but a six-foot birdie at the sixth from the Howley Hall man seemed to put him back in the contest. Brown, however, would effectively settle the contest by winning four of the next five holes with North playing a part in his own downfall. He three-putted the seventh from 40 feet, drove out of bounds at the eighth - trying to make use of his greater length after Brown had hit an immaculate iron off the tee for safety – and revisited the copse of trees that he had found at the fifth by going long with his approach at the ninth. Ten was halved, but after both men had put their tee shots in greenside bunkers at the downhill 304-yard par-4 11th, Brown made birdie from five feet after North had missed from a foot or so further away. North scrambled a par after missing the green with his tee shot at the 138-yard par-3 12th to keep the match alive, but after missing for birdie from 12 feet at the next, he conceded both Brown's five-foot birdie putt and the match. Brown had just edged through his second-round match against Shipley's Max Berrisford at the first extra hole before impressing with his 3&1 win semi-final win over Hessle's Aaron Brettell, whose form this season – particularly his third-place finish in the Yorkshire amateur at Fulford - have caught the eye.


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