Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Welsh-based rivals reunite for Powerade challenge

Joe Ferguson believes he and Cennydd Mills will turn back the clock to their amateur days at next week’s Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship.

Celtic Manor's Joe Ferguson

Ferguson, based at the Celtic Manor Resort, has tipped Welshman Mills, of Tredegar Park Golf Club, to be among the pacesetters at the £32,500 final which is supported by FootJoy and will be staged at Coventry Golf Club from August 7-9.

Former England amateur player Ferguson qualified for the final by finishing joint top of the leaderboard at Honiton Golf Club in May - beating Mills by three shots.

But Ferguson knows Mills will be one of the men to beat.

“I know Cennydd well from when I played for England as an amateur and he was in the Wales squad,” said Ferguson who will be making his debut in the event.

“He’s a good, solid player who’s done well in this event before. I think that if you beat him in the final then you’re going to be finishing in the money.”

Midlander Ferguson, playing in his first final, hopes he can steal a march on any players unfamiliar with the Coventry venue.

“I used to be based in Worcestershire and played Coventry quite a lot,” said the 30-year-old.

“It’s a good course. It has plenty of par five holes and the scoring could be quite low. I hope that helps me having played there before.”

Ferguson will also play in the Wales Open again this year after making his debut in the event 12 months ago.

He took a break from golf after leaving his amateur career behind him but had his passion for the game rekindled while working at the 2010 Ryder Cup venue in a non-golf related role.

It inspired him to qualify as a PGA Professional and undertake the PGA training programme which concentrates on all aspects of golf including business, equipment technology and repairs, rules and tournament organisation, sports science, sports psychology and playing.

“I’d moved down to Bristol for my wife’s business and I worked at Celtic Manor in client service,” he explained.

“But I was booking people in for golf and watching them go out on to the course - so I got the bug back.

“An Assistants’ job came up and I got it, so after a break from the game I’m back in it again.”

Other Welsh players taking part at Coventry include Elliott Harding (Milford Haven);  Matthew Harrison (Burghill Valley);   Thomas Bowen (American Golf); Grant Edwards (Mile End); and Thomas Phillips (Hadley Wood).


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