MILTON KEYNES, England (July 29, 2011) -- Steven Brown will meet Jamie Clare in tomorrow’s 36-hole final of the English Amateur Championship, supported by abacus, over the Marquess Course at Woburn. In the semi-finals, Brown beat Tyrrell Hatton 3 and 2, while Clare overcame Callum Shinkwin 2 and 1.
It will be both players’ first major final and if their earlier exploits are any indication then the final should be well worth watching.
“I’m really pleased to make the final,” said Brown. “I’ve been playing well and working hard on my putting and with every day I’ve felt more comfortable on the greens.
“I knew it would be a tough match against Tyrrell. He is a fine player but I got ahead early on where I hadn’t been in earlier matches.”
Brown, who has been a regular high finisher in recent years without claiming a title, came from behind to put out Sam Claridge 2 and 1 in his morning quarter final while Hatton also trailed but reeled off six birdies in his final eight holes in disposing of Newcastle’s Philip Ridden by the same score.
Although Hatton drew first blood by winning the second hole when Brown drove through the fairway and took bogey, the Wentworth man then won three holes in a row, two with birdies, to secure a lead he never relinquished.
Birdies at the fifth and seventh saw Brown 3-up and although Hatton won the ninth with a par, Brown went 3-up again at 15, getting up-and-down from a bunker from 130 yards. The end came with a par at the next.
“I drove the ball well again which you have to do on the Marquess if you want to make birdies,” added 24-year-old Brown, who will give away seven years to Clare in the final.
Despite his birdie burst in the morning, Hatton couldn’t find a single one against Brown. “I had a lot of chance but I missed every one,” he said. “But Steve played really solid and controlled the match from the start.”
Shinkwin, who is off to the Boys Home Internationals next week, won the first two holes, one with a birdie, against Clare in a match packed with birdies.
Clare got back to all square with birdies at the fourth and fifth only for Shinkwin to sink one of his own at six. But again Clare birdied seven to continue the sparkling play up to the 11th.
Then a further birdie saw Clare ahead for the first time and he increased it when Shinkwin bogeyed the short 14th. They both birdied 15 but Shinkwin was unable to make further inroads and the end came at 17.
“I had five birdies and finished around four under after messing up the first,” said Clare, who had his mother Anne as caddie. “It’s unbelievable to be in the final. It’s the best thing that has happened to me in golf and at the start of the week I never thought I’d get this far.”
Clare’s final slot is no fluke. He caused a shock in the quarter finals by beating England cap Jack Senior by one hole after never being behind.
In the other quarter final, Shinkwin was always in control against Henry Smart, running out a comfortable 3 and 2 winner.