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Flying start for Westgate's defence of title.

BEN WESTGATE got the defence of his Welsh Amateur title off to a flyer at Southerndown yesterday - once the rain and mist had relented.

The 29-year-old geologist, who has rather lost his way in recent weeks, once again showed his liking for Southerndown, where he shared top place in the Duncan Putter earlier in the year, by sweeping into the third round.

Following the traditional bye for the top seed and champion, Westgate set about putting Fulford-based Ross Earnshaw well and truly in his place - and this he did emphatically.

Playing solid golf, considering the conditions, Westgate raced into a big early lead and romped to a 6& 5 victory on a day of big margins.

He was never in any sort of danger and has an early start today against Gareth Blease, the grandson of the Conwy-based former long-serving Golf Union executive council member Les Blease.

Blease was also in dominant mood against Neath teenager Craig Melding, the nephew of Welsh Assembly member David Melding, and powered home 7& 5 with a thoroughly convincing display in all departments.

Simon Phelps is determined to enjoy a good run in the individual championship - and he started well yesterday.

Phelps had to pull out all the stops, however, to book his place in today's third round. First he edged to a last-green success against James Maxwell from Pembrokeshire club Trefloyne and then saw off the spirited challenge of Lloyd Evans by 2& 1.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 31, 2009
Words:241
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