Lindrick ace wins national crown at The Alwoodley to prove that he is not your average Joe
Yorkshire’s Joe Dean almost holed in one to seal a resounding 9&7 victory in the English Amateur Championship at The Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds.
His tee shot to the 29th hole - the par-3 11th - pitched just past the hole, spun back, went into the cup and flipped out again, finally settling a couple of inches away to much applause from spectators around the green.
His opponent, Alfie Plant of Kent, then hit his own shot but, once the players reached the green, he conceded the hole and the match.
“I won the first match of the week with an eagle and I nearly finished it off with an eagle!” said Dean.
It provided a fitting end to an impressive display by the 21-year-old from Lindrick. He played the 29 holes of the match in four-under par, despite steady rain and a torrential downpour as the match drew to its close.
The players were able to complete the 28th hole - which Dean won after Plant’s tee shot went out of bounds - but course manager Philip Taylor had to squeegee the 29th green before they could play to it.
His win, on Yorkshire Day, marked a resounding return to form for Dean, a member of the England Golf men’s squad. “I’ve struggled through the start of the year and felt frustrated, so this means everything to me,” he said.
“I played unbelievable golf today. I worked out a pre-shot routine with Graham Walker [the England coach], I picked the shots I wanted to play, tried hitting them and it all came together. It feels as if everything has finally paid off.”
Dean laid the foundations of his win in the morning, when he was four-up after the first 18 holes.
He then set off at a great pace in the afternoon, winning the 19th and 20th with birdies. His momentum was temporarily halted on the 21st, which the players halved in birdies, but he won the next to get to seven-up.
He dropped his only shot of the afternoon round on the 24th to lose the hole but bounced straight back with a birdie-two on the 25th. His wins on the 28th and 29th holes secured the title to the delight of his family and supporters from Hillsborough Golf Club, where he plays a lot of his golf.
Dean is also hoping for a special bonus from his win. For the last two years he has won the Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham Golf Club and he joked: “Hopefully now everyone will stop calling me a one-course player!”
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