A VERY successful pro-am competition has left Furness Golf Club members in high spirits ahead of one of the biggest events in their annual calendar.

A bumper entry of 160 home and away players are set to battle it out for the Festival of Britain Trophy at the Mail Open this Saturday.

Today sees many of the area's top female golfers contest the ladies' Mail tournament – a four-ball, better-ball won last year by Ulverston pair Marion McBride and Mary Simpson.

The Mail competitions come hard on the heels of the Furness Old Links Pro-Am, when many PGA professionals from around the region and north of the border descended on Walney.

The competition, held last Friday, was won by Dumfries and Galloway professional James Erskine and his team with a score of 134.

The Scottish contingent finished top of the 19 teams who entered, and narrowly ahead of professional Tim Dykes and his Ulverston and Furness combined team.

Club match and handicap secretary Graham Parkin said: “The pro-am went very well indeed. The professionals want to come back again next year. They would like it to be an annual event which is great news.

“The course is playing very well which is a great credit to Alick and his team of two (Dave Nicholson and Gary Thistlewhite) they have presented the course in a remarkable condition.

“We've got a very good entry for the Mail, it should be a good day."

Saturday's Mail Open will be followed by an evening of free entertainment in the clubhouse provided by singer Ade White (from 8pm).

Furness Old Links Pro-Am result

Winners: J Erskine (pro) C Montgomery, L Lungo, T Donnelly (Dumfries and Galloway). Score: 134.

Runners-up: T Dykes (pro) M Leitch, G Gonzales, S Gonzales (Ulverston/Furness). Score: 135.

Third: C Maroney (pro): M Cleminson, LWardley, D Myers (Longridge). Score: 136.

Fourth: A Palmer (pro) J Stevens, M Ellis, P Pedley (Furness). Score: 136.

Fifth: P Kelly (pro) P Trelore, S McAloone, A Hart (Furness). Score: 137.

Pro's individual prizes: Joint first: R O'Neill (Penwortham) P Archer (Birchwood). Score 70 (-1).

* See tomorrow's Mail for the tee-times for the Mail tournament. Late entries can be made up until Friday night to Graham Parkin, on 07753 476620.