The English Men’s Amateur Championship reached a very exciting conclusion on Saturday at Ganton when the destination of the trophy was in doubt right up to the last of the 36-hole final.
Finalists Dan Brown and George Bloor are good friends and had seen a lot of each other during the week as they shared accommodation throughout the tournament, but it was down to serious business for both on Saturday.
In the morning round it was nip and tuck all the way with the lead changing hands several times but at the lunch break it was Bloor of Cavendish Golf Club who was the happier of the two as he led one up.
He increased his lead to four up after winning the second, third and seventh holes of the afternoon session, but after halving the eighth, the par-five ninth hole produced the chink of light that Brown was looking for.
Brown hit a great second shot onto the green and Bloor then found the left hand greenside bunker, he played a very good sand shot but then missed the birdie putt he needed to half the hole.
After halving the 10th in par, the pressure on Bloor increased when both players found themselves just off the green with their second shots, he chipped a shade too strong and missed the putt and Brown won the hole with a par to reduce the deficit to 2 down.
Brown then made a mistake at 12 when his approach shot found a bunker and he could only make a five and Bloor went back to three up with only six holes to play looked to be back on track.
However, he made an error with his second on the par five 13th and left himself well short of the green, Brown was just off the edge of the putting surface but got down in two to win the hole.
Both players hit their tee shots close to the green at 14 and once again Bloor was a bit too strong knocking his approach a good six foot past the hole and missed the return and suddenly Brown was back to just one down and in the ascendancy.
Two very good pars at the long par four 15th were followed by disaster for Bloor when he pulled his tee shot at the 16th short and left, a difficult lie then resulted in him finding the trees down the left side and he could only hack it out into a gorse bush on the other side of the fairway and had to concede the hole, all square with two to play.
Brown played a canny tee shot at 17 leaving his ball just short of the green and the bunkers, Bloor decided to go for the green and watched in despair as his ball curved away to the right and disappeared into the gorse.
He played a provisional and as most golfer would expect, his second attempt landed on the green and gave him an outside chance of making four but he couldn’t convert and Brown went 1 up.
Another accurate drive from Brown cranked up the pressure again and unfortunately Bloor pulled his tee shot into the trees on the left and the writing was on the wall, Dan Brown then claimed victory with a putt that just lipped out for what would have been a birdie and Bloor conceded the match that was a great credit to both players.
Brown became the third Yorkshireman in a row to claim this title after Nick Marsh and Joe Dean, he also received immediate congratulations from another such previous winner Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters Champion, who won this event in 2007.
Dan and George will now head off for the European Amateur Championship played next week at the Estonia Golf & Country Club just outside Tallinn.
Our local representation was eliminated when David Hague of Malton & Norton went out to Jack Gandy in the last 32 and Steve Robins of Hull Golf Club, who was a little unlucky to lose out to Jack Singh Brar by just one hole in the last 16, creditable performances by both men.
Samuel seals success at South Cliff
The East Riding Union Amateur Championship took place at South Cliff on Sunday.
Played over 36 holes on the same course as the recent England Amateur medal rounds, this gross score competition is the blue riband event for the area’s top amateurs golfers.
Jon Samuel (0) of Hull GC, one of the favourites, posted the best score of the morning at level par 72.
In close contention on 73 were Nick Raybould (0) of Bridlington Links, James Jessop (0) from Cottingham, one shot further back was Andy Lockwood (0) of Hessle and Joe Allenby (1) also of Hessle had a very good 75.
Matt Raybould (1) of Bridlington shot a great second round of 70 but unfortunately, after the officials had clarified a rule on him playing a provisional ball in the morning round he was disqualified.
As the afternoon progressed it was clear the winner would be from the five above.
Joe Allenby matched his morning score of 75 for an aggregate 150, James Jessop slipped to a 76 for a total of 149 and Nick Raybould carded another 73 for 146.
Next to finish was Andy Lockwood, he improved on the morning round with a 71 for 145 but crucially missed a birdie putt on the last.
He then had to watch Samuel play the last and saw him putt his third shot in an almost identical position to his own earlier, but this time the putt went in for a winning total of 144 to clinch the Trophy.