Paul Ferrier heralds pro move in style with Home win

Paul Ferrier had a last-day victory against Ben Westgate from Wales. Picture: Kenny Smith
Paul Ferrier had a last-day victory against Ben Westgate from Wales. Picture: Kenny Smith
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CAPITAL ace Paul Ferrier signed off his amateur career in style after helping Scotland win the Home Internationals for the first time since 2006.

The 23-year-old capped a summer to savour by helping Scott Knowles’ side pick up the Raymond Trophy at Glasgow Gailes.

“This will almost certainly be my last round as an amateur,” admitted Ferrier after winning his singles against Ben Westgate in a last-day victory over Wales. “I was thinking about that before I went out and things couldn’t have worked out any better with us winning the title.”

Ferrier, a semi-finalist in the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon in June, is aiming to launch his professional career by bidding to qualify for the PGA Tour.

He spent four years at college in North Carolina and is trying to raise enough money to go back there next month.

“I’m waiting for my visa to come through and also working hard to get the cash I need,” he added.

“It costs $3000 to play in the pre-qualifying and then another $2500 if I make it through that.”

On his full Scotland debut, the likeable Ferrier finished with a creditable three-and-a-half points from five on the Ayrshire coast.

“It’s been great fun and I definitely feel I contributed to the team,” he admitted. “Beating England was one of the best experiences I’ve had in the last ten years.”

Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest was also pleased to chalk up a last-session win – he thumped Geriant Jones 6 and 5 – after coming up empty-handed in four previous outings.“I felt a wee bit pressure so it was a relief to make a contribution,” said the 19-year-old Scottish champion, who had been left out of the morning foursomes.

After halving the first five holes, Forrest quickly went three up, stretched his lead with a par at the tenth before closing out the match with birdies at the 12th and 13th.

“I played well today, covering the holes we played in five-under,” he added, admitting his game had felt a bit rusty at the start of the event.

Straight after winning the Scottish Championship at Dornoch, he headed off on a holiday to Turkey with mum Audrey and sister Alisa.

“We only got away for four days but it was still good to get a break,” said Forrest.

The singles successes from Ferrier and Forrest helped Kingsknowe stalwart Knowles secure his first title triumph as captain in the four-cornered event.

He admitted it had been a sweet victory following criticism aimed at the selectors in the build-up to the event.

“There was criticism from some quarters that this wasn’t the strongest team, but the great thing about this squad is their sprit,” said the 
former Scottish Golfer of the Year.

“Some teams in the past may not have come up to the mark, but this one did.

“We had seven new caps, which is great for then future. I think Paul Ferrier and Paul Shields are the only players 
going to Tour Schools this year.

“That gives us a good base and I’m sure the players who were involved this week will be battling to get back on the team again next year.” Whether Knowles will be in charge or not for the defence of the title at Ganton in Yorkshire remains to be seen.

He’s had four years at the helm and could be set to bow out after the Eisenhower Trophy in Turkey later in the 
season.

“If it is my final year as captain, what a great way to go out,” he beamed. You can’t beat winning the Homes on Scottish turf.”

It was a victory that also 
delighted Stephen Gallacher, who enjoyed playing in this event in his amateur days.

“I’ve been receiving texts from Stephen this week,” revealed Knowles, who runs the European Tour star’s new Foundation in the Lothians.

“He loved the Home Internationals and was ecstatic when we beat England on Thursday.”