MASHAM'S Dan Brown has been telling his parents for some while that a big win for him was just around the corner.
Standing four down with 10 holes to play in the 36-hole final of the English men's amateur championship on Saturday, victory at Ganton seemed not so much around the corner as hidden out of sight over the horizon.
But the 21-year-old battled back brilliantly to become Yorkshire's third successive holder of the title as he defeated Cavendish's George Bloor two up.
Huddersfield's Nick Marsh and Lindrick's Joe Dean, 2014 and 2015 champions respectively, are county team-mates and Brown admits their deeds in England Golf's flagship event provided motivation.
“I have grown up playing golf with Nick and Joe and it gives you that extra inspiration,” said Brown. “And (Meltham's) Jamie Bower won the Brabazon – Yorkshire golf is looking good.”
It certainly did after a couple of holes in the morning when Brown already led by two, but a birdie proved insufficient at the 349-yard third where Bloor eagled from four feet and by the fourth they were all square after a birdie from the Derbyshire man.
The lead exchanged hands for a series of holes before Bloor gained a slender advantage at lunch by halving 17 and 18 followinga concession at 16.
They halved the first hole of the afternoon round, but by the third Brown had slipped to three down and only an excellent bunker shot at the fourth, the 22nd of the match, kept it that way.
He reduced the deficit at the next only for Bloor to win holes six and seven - the latter with a superb up and down from 100 yards out - and the advantage was a daunting four.
After a half at the eighth, Bloor missed a short putt at the ninth and heading for home Brown was down by three.
Birdie putts would just not drop for the Yorkshireman and a superb up and down from a greenside bunker at 10 earned Bloor a half and, even after his lead was cut at the 11th, Brown played the 12th poorly to be back to three adrift.
It would have been easy for him to have felt the momentum had been lost, but Brown's game suddenly took on a formidable look.
A chip and putt birdie at 13 again drew him within two holes of Bloor, and after almost driving the 280-yard par-4 14th and going close to eagle, a birdie was enough when his opponent's putting again proved fallible.
The 15th was halved, both men just missing birdies, and then the pressure that Brown's doggedness had applied appeared to weigh heavily on Bloor's shoulders.
He made a mess of 16 and conceded to be all square and then lost his tee shot at the 251-yard par-3 17th, his three-off-the-tee shot to 10ft no good as Brown chipped close and Bloor missed.
Suddenly the crown was within Brown's grasp and he tightened it with an excellent drive at the slight dog-leg last where Bloor's tee shot found the left-hand rough .
After Brown had nervelessly hit the green with his approach, the Derbyshire man wedged out onto the fairway, then onto the green and missed his par putt.
It left Brown with three putts for the championship. He almost required only one, his birdie attempt lipping out, but the hole and the match were conceded and the title was his.
“I’ve been playing really well, but haven’t had the results I felt I deserved," said Brown.
"Mum and Dad and my coach are sick of hearing me say that there’s a big result coming, but it’s happened.”
Brown received immediate congratulations from another Yorkshireman, the 2007 English Amateur champion and the 2016 Masters champion, Danny Willett, of Sheffield.
He sent a message to the presentation, telling Brown: “I can remember the feelings you’re experiencing and your family and friends will rightly be very proud of you. You’re obviously on the right track so keep doing what you’re doing, be smart and effective with your practice and who knows how far you can go?”