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Brown Wins English Amateur


Steven Brown beat Jamie Clare 7 and 5 in the 36-hole final to win the English Amateur at Woburn Golf Club. Brown joins such former champions as Michael Bonallack, Nick Faldo and Mark James.

"I'm hugely thrilled to win this title," he said. "I've been close a lot of times over the past few years so it's good to have finally won something significant."

The 24-year-old from Surrey had an eight-hole lead after the first 18 holes on Woburn's Marquess Course. In forging that big margin he won the first two holes and was 6-up at the turn after covering the front nine in 3-under-par 33. At that stage many people were asking if he might beat the highest winning margin of 12 and 11 set by Bonallack, who beat David Kelley at Ganton in 1968.

"I wasn't thinking of anything like that. It didn't enter my head," said Brown. "I just wanted to keep playing the same way and let the score take care of itself."

Although he was far ahead midway through the championship match, Brown admitted: "I was so tired after lunch. My legs were dead and I wasn't quite on my game."

Clare came back in the afternoon match, but Brown's lead was just too big to overcome. "I was pleased to win the afternoon battle but I couldn't hit the ball on the front nine this morning," Clare said. "But I kept at it and I didn't lose my head. Steven hardly missed a fairway, a green or a putt but this has been a great week for me and hopefully it will open a few doors."

It's possible both Brown and Clare have earned a spot on the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team that will face the USA September 10-11 at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland.

"It's great to be on the same list as the previous winners and if I can achieve a tiny bit that they've accomplished I'll be delighted," said Brown. "At the start of the week I wasn't expecting to win but I felt I had a good chance. You can't get ahead of yourself but I'm delighted how it's turned out."