England golf prodigy Dan Brown has chosen to delay turning professional in a bid to qualify for the 2015 Walker Cup, writes Ed White.
Brown, a plus four handicap, has made giant strides in his golfing career this year and risen up from the development squad into the England A team.
The 20-year-old reached the quarter finals of the British Amateur Championships at Royal Portrush in June after leading the qualifiers through the two stroke-play rounds.
In his final competition of the season, Brown produced four strong rounds around Pannal Golf Club to finish third at the North of England Amateur championships.
“He has had a fantastic year this year,” said Dan’s mum Kay Brown. “He was in the England development squad last year and the coaching over the winter sharpened up his game and then this year, he has had as good a season as he has ever had.”
Ahead of a busy 2015, the Bedale Golf Club member has been training at Woodhall Spa, England Golf’s base and mum Kay said he has ambitions to take part in the sport’s most famous events next year. She added: “He doesn’t feel ready to turn professional yet. He feels he can still learn a lot from England.
“He has just turned 20. It’s still quite young to go into the big wide world and the pressure of playing for money.
“He wants to get into the Walker Cup team next year and from that he can hopefully get a card at Qualifying School.”
The Walker Cup is amateur golf’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup and pits Great Britain and Ireland against the United States.
The British team will hope to wrestle back the trophy at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Cluafter losing in America in 2013.
Brown will have to show he is worthy of a spot in the team at a number of amateur competitions in Europe, starting in Portugal in February.
But he hasn’t had to look far for inspiration. His former Yorkshire four-balls partner Matt Fitzpatrick has risen to prominence this year, and took the silver medal for the top amateur at the Open Championships.
“What Matt has achieved has given Dan inspiration that he can do it too,” Kay added.
“There’s a couple of ways he can qualify. He did enter the Open qualifiers this year but had to pull out to go to France to train with England but he will do it again this year.
“It’s up at the Old Course at St Andrews and he loves it there. He will definitely be trying to get there.”