Joe Dean to face Alfie Plant in English Amateur finale
Joe Dean
Joe Dean

LEEDS, England — Yorkshire’s Joe Dean will carry local hopes when he meets Alfie Plant of Kent in tomorrow’s 36-hole final of the English Amateur Championship at The Alwoodley Golf Club.

Dean (Lindrick) claimed his place when he beat Rob Burlison (Enville) 2/1 in the semi-finals. Plant (Sundridge Park) had to go to the 20th to end the challenge of another Yorkshire player, Jamie Bower (Meltham).

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” said Plant, 23 (pictured below). “All week I’ve been so focussed on getting to the final, doing all I can to get there – and now I’m there. It’s going to be a good match.”

Alfie Plant
This afternoon’s match, he said, was not pretty - but it made up for that in drama. Bower had the early advantage, but for much of the match they were all square before Plant got one ahead on the 17th. However, he stumbled on the 18th, finding a bunker off the tee, coming out into long grass and bogeying the hole, while Bower played two great shots to reach the green.

On the 19th Bower had the advantage after playing another super shot into the green, but his putt slipped by. “I had my hat half off,” said Plant, who’d watched the Yorkshireman sink an identical putt first time round.

Plant played safe on the 20th, taking an iron off the tee and knocking his approach to within 10ft of the pin. Bower found a bunker with his drive and his second went just over the green from where he took three to get down – and conceded the match.

Joe Dean, 21, won another close encounter which, by his account, was packed with adventurous situations. His short game was well and truly tested and he came through with flying colours, for example getting up and down from 50 yards and later from 100.

He started well, winning the first two holes with birdies, but by the fifth he had been pulled back to all square and he fell one behind when Burlison birdied the short 7th.

The lead then swung between the two players. Dean got one ahead after birdies on the eighth and 10th. Burlison, in turn, was one ahead after the 13th.

But Dean won the short 14th with a par and holed a 15ft putt on 15 for another birdie and a crucial, one-hole advantage. Two pars later and he’d claimed his place in the final.

Dean’s first aim in this championship was to do better than last year, when he reached the quarter finals. “Once I got past that I felt as though a lot of pressure had lifted. There’s still a lot of pressure coming down the last few holes but I have enjoyed it a lot more, my attitude has been 100 times better than normal and I’ve felt a lot calmer.”

In this morning’s semi-finals Dean beat George Bloor (Cavendish) 1 up; Burlison beat Scott Gregory (Corhampton) 1 up; Bower beat Jake Storey (Alnmouth) 3/2; and Plant beat Tom Robson (Weymouth) 4/3.

Results For English Amateur Golf Championship
WinEnglandJoe DeanEngland700
Runner-upEnglandAlfie PlantEngland500
SemifinalsEnglandJamie BowerEngland400
SemifinalsEnglandRobert BurlisonEngland400
QuarterfinalsEnglandGeorge BloorEngland300

View full results for English Amateur Golf Championship

ABOUT THE English Amateur

The English Amateur was played in its inaugural year of 1925 at Hoylake when local golfer T Froes Ellison captured the title. He successfully defended the following year at Walton Heath, a feat achieved by only six others: Frank Pennink, Alan Thirlwell, Michael Bonallack, Harry Ashby, Mark Foster, and Paul Casey. Sir Nick Faldo is the most famous to have won the event as the six-time major champion won the 1975 tournament at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

The tournament consists of two stroke play rounds, after which the top 64 players will advance to the match play rounds, culminating in a 36-hole final between two finalists.

View Complete Tournament Information

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