GOLF’S Brabazon Trophy was today braced for an all-England showdown.
Two of this country’s star amateurs ended day two of the competition at Seaton Carew locked on nine under par.
For much of yesterday it looked as though Ben Stow was going to lead the field into the final two rounds after a superb 68 around the links.
The USA-based 22-year-old, from Dorset, with a dad from Newcastle, was sitting pretty in the clubhouse on a nine-under-par 137, three strokes clear of the rest.
But fellow England international Ryan Evans tore around the Tees Road links in a new course record 66 to join him on the same mark.
The 27-year-old European Amateur champion, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, sank six birdies yesterday afternoon.
It means the pair will go out together in what promises to be an exciting final pairing today.
Scotland’s Daniel Young, one of yesterday’s later starters, holds third spot in his own right after completing back-to-back 70s to be on six under par.
Five players from around Great Britain and Ireland share fourth place on 141 (five under par).
Scott Gibson, the first player out on the course yesterday at 7am, carded a 69, as did Ireland’s Stuart Grehan with England’s Ashley Chesters (71) and another Irish star, Gavin Moynihan (70) joining them on the same mark.
Workington’s Seb Crookall-Nixon, flying the flag for the North of England, shot a one-under-par 72 to also be on 141.
Five players were one shot back on 142, including joint overnight leaders Ciaran Doherty and Tom Fox who both shot 74s.
Australia’s Andrew Schonewille was the top overseas player in 14th on three under par.
The man who travelled the furthest to come to Seaton Carew, New Zealand’s Josh Munn, qualified in the top 60 for the last two days.
Munn, 20, was on level par after two rounds following a 71 yesterday.
Defending champion Jordan Smith made it through just, on one over par, squeezing in by just one stroke.
1 Ryan Evans 71 66 137 -9
1 Ben Stow 69 68 137 -9
3 Daniel Young 70 70 140 -6
4 Scott Gibson 72 69 141 -5
4 Stuart Grehan 72 69 141 -5
4 Gavin Moynihan 71 70 141 -5
4 Ashley Chesters 70 71 141 -5
4 Seb Crookall-Nixon 69 72 141 -5
9 Michael Saunders 72 70 142 -4
9 Adam Chapman 71 71 142 -4
9 Cormac Sharvin 70 72 142 -4
9 Ciaran Doherty 68 74 142 -4
9 Tom Fox 68 74 142 -4