Joe back in the groove


Joe Ferguson (Celtic Manor) has established himself as the clear favourite to retain the West's Titleist-FootJoy Young Professionals' League title after winning the opening event of the season at Teignmouth.

The 28-year-old former England amateur boys international made it a double by snatching the betterball section partnered by Matthew Lewis, the director of golf at Celtic Manor.

They scored 41 stableford points and beat Torquay's Ben Hiscock and Chris Perry on countback with Rhys Davies (Cardiff) and Phil Barber third.

Ferguson's level par 69 brought a two-shot advantage over Steven Buzza (Exeter), Jason Fallon (Thornbury Golf Centre) and Davies who has just returned to Wales after a spell playing and caddying in America.

James Keitch (Taunton Vale) and Jack Wallace (Staddon Heights) were fifth on 72.

Fog and low cloud hovered over the Devon course and caused an 80-minute delay after the first three groups had teed off but after that play proceeded without mishap.

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