Derrick and Langdon defy the elements to set the pace in Cornish Festival

Derrick and Langdon defy the elements to set the pace in Cornish Festival


Luke Derrick and Ross Langdon defied windy conditions on Cornwall’s north coast that were more conducive to kite-flying than golf to lead the Carlsberg Marstons Cornish Festival after the first of its three days.

With hardened or otherwise foolhardy surfers conspicuous by their absence from the angry sea pounding Fistral Beach adjacent to Newquay Golf Club, Derrick (pictured) posted a two-under par round of 67.

Meanwhile, a handful of miles northwards and similarly accompanied by a soundtrack of ‘white horses’ crashing on sand and rocks, Langdon followed suit at Trevose.

In doing so, the pair comprised half the quartet from the 120-strong field of pros that broke par in the popular curtain-raiser to the PGA South West’s tournament season.

Michael Watson, who opined ‘there were crosswinds to combat all over the course’, and Greg Davies completed the foursome thanks to posting one-under par rounds of 68 at Newquay.

In fairness, and to continue the surfing analogy, wipe outs of the golfing variety were few and far between.

Nine completed their rounds in one-over while defending champion and Legends Tour 2023 Road to Mauritius winner Peter Baker is a shot further adrift, as are the 2023 PGA Professional Championship victor Paul Hendriksen and former DP World Tour players Phil Archer and John Bickerton.

Baker was having only his second competitive outing since his triumph in the Mauritian sunshine last December. Not that he complained about the chilling and capricious wind capable of derailing his game. Far from it. Instead, he made light of the conditions and was fulsome in his praise for the course.

“The course was excellent,” he said. “It’s in great condition – the best I’ve seen it. Back in the Midlands (where I’m from) it’s wet as most places are, so it’s nice to play on some firm ground. It was a tough day and difficult – it could have been worse and, I suppose, it could have been better.”

Baker will play St Enodoc on day two before winding up at Trevose, the stage for several triumphs both on the Legends Tour and the Cornish Festival.

Derrick’s schedule follows the same path, and he will go into it adopting the same game plan he executed on day one.

“I know Newquay pretty well,” he said. “I used to come down here every October with a bunch of members from Clevedon, so I’ve played it enough to know you’ve got to be patient, plot your way round, limit the mistakes, and don’t be too aggressive.

“I haven’t played St Enodoc as much as Newquay but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a tough course and, like this one, you must plot your way round. The weather looks better with less wind. Hopefully I can produce more of the same.”

Meanwhile, in the team competition involving 360 amateurs and 120 pros, Bickerton’s quartet and that of PGA South West Order of Merit winner James Ruth, are setting the pace with 84 Stableford points.

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