Sunday, 08 July 2001
Kenneth Ferrie, the burly 22 year old from Northumberland, eased his way to victory in the Challenge Total Fina Elf at Joyenval near Paris, his second Challenge Tour title in less than a year.

The former England international from Ashington, who won in Tessali last September, carded a closing 69 for 20 under par 268 and a one stroke winning margin over Norfolk's Andrew Marshall, with Marten Olander from Sweden in third place on 272.

Ferrie began the day two strokes clear of Scotland's David Drysdale, his playing partner, but took a firm grip on the tournament with three birdies in the opening five holes. That put him on his winning tally of 20 under and it was up to the rest to try to catch him.

Drysdale stayed in touch until the 215-yard eighth hole when the Scot ran up a triple-bogey six after taking three to get out of a deep greenside bunker. That effectively put him out of the hunt but Marshall, who got to 15 under by the turn, was his biggest danger.

While Ferrie was stringing together par after par, the Norfolkman grabbed three birdies to get to 18 under then fired his second shot at the par five 18th to the back fringe. If he could hole that for eagle he could have forced a playoff. But his chip rolled agonisingly past for a tap-in birdie.

So Marshall finished on 19 under and had to stand and watch Ferrie take a par at the last, the title and the first prize of 20,330 euro.

"When David made a mess of the eighth and I saw that Marten and Andy had also made bogeys I knew I just had to hit the fairways and middle of the greens to win," said Ferrie.

"From the eighth I just played for pars while I said at the start that I was aiming to get to 20 under and if anyone beat me then they deserved it.

"I'm delighted to have won again but winning a second time doesn't get any easier. Hopefully this will give me confidence on the main tour because I've been struggling this year."

Marshall, who has now had four top-10 finishes and three top-fives, climbs to fourth on the Challenge Tour rankings, while Ferrie is now 13th, having become the ninth British winner this year.

Most of the other challengers fell by the wayside on a day when a brisk breeze coupled with some difficult pin positions proved their downfall.

Only 20 players bettered par, the lowest of all four rounds, while the best return came from Sweden’s Fredrik Widmark with 66.


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