Ellen Yates and Ben Brown (England Golf)
Ben Brown and Ellen Yates are the English Amateur champions. Following a rainy Saturday, the semi-finals needed to be pushed to Sunday morning before the finals could be played in the afternoon at Ferndown Golf Club.
It was just another delay due to the weather for the competitors. The second round of stroke play was washed out completely.
On Sunday morning in the semi-final, Brown played Jack Whaley. In a theme for the day, Brown dominated the middle section of the match. He won hole Nos 6-9 to grab a 3-up lead at the turn. Whaley battled back with wins on holes 10 and 15 to put some pressure on Brown. The pair exchanged wins on the 16th and 17th holes, forcing play to the final hole with Brown leading by a hole.
Brown and Whaley split the last, giving Brown a spot in the final with a 1-up victory.
Tyler Weaver also needed 18 holes to secure his spot in the final. He had a back-and-forth match with Josh Berry. Berry won hole Nos. 3-5 to lead by two holes. However, over the course of the last 13 holes, Berry managed to win just one hole, the 15th. Weaver, on the other hand, won holes 6,10,11, and 16. The win on 16 was the clincher, as he took a 1-up lead at that point and saw the match out with ties on the final two holes.
The final, at the end of a long week, was worthy of this championship. Brown, once again, made his hay in the middle of the round. He flipped an early two-hole deficit to a two-hole lead by winning hole Nos. 7,11,13, and 14.
Weaver seemed to be on the rocks down two holes with four to play. He hung in there and won hole 15 with a birdie and 17 with a par. Weaver had a putt slide by on 18 to win the championship.
On the 20th hole, Brown missed the green on the par 3. Weaver was in the driver's seat on the green with a good look at birdie. Brown, just hoping to make par and put pressure on Weaver did a bit more than that. He chipped in for birdie and when Weaver's putt missed, the championship belonged to Brown.
On the women's side, Rebecca Earl beat Davina Xanh with a flurry of good golf of the back nine. The won hole Nos. 12, 13, and 15 to turn her match and take a 2-up lead. Xanh couldn't battle back, and Earl won 2&1.
Yates had a very similar match to Earl's. She found herself 2-down to Caitlin Whitehead at the turn. Whitehead didn't win a hole on the back nine, as Yates blitzed Whitehead; she won hole Nos. 10-12 and then opened up a two-hole lead when she won the 15th hole. Yates saw the match out on the 17th green with a 2&1 victory.
The women's final also went 20 holes. After both women played in up-and-down matches in the semi-final with competitors winning a number of holes, the final was marked with plenty of tied holes due to some exceptional golf.
Earl won the only hole on the front nine - the fourth hole where a par was enough to nab a one-hole lead. Earl shot 34, and Yates shot 35 on their opening nine holes.
On the back, Earl won the 11th hole for a 2-up lead. But Yates battled back at the death, winning the 15th hole and then forcing the playoff after Earl hit her tee shot out of bounds on the 18th hole.
The par-3 second hole proved to be the deciding hole in the women's match, too. Earl missed the green and conceded Yates' par putt and the match when her bogey putt missed.
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.
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