Golf: FAIRWAY THE LAD; EXCLUSIVE Ferrie: It's Shearer First, Then Augusta
Byline: By SIMON BIRD
KEN FERRIE has warmed up for next month's US Masters by playing for a fiver against football stars like Alan Shearer and Shay Given and Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards.
The Geordie ace is a regular on the course with Edwards and Newcastle keepers Given and Steve Harper.
And he's completing his Augusta preparations with a challenge game against Shearer... but will be giving the strike legend a mean handicap following a couple of below par rounds.
The Ashington-born star, who came close to winning last year's US Open before finishing sixth, revealed that mixing with his new sporting mates has helped him overcome one big problem - doubting he really belonged in the company of Tiger Woods.
Ferrie, one of only a handful of Brits to qualify for Augusta, has spent the winter working on his swing in the North- East and has accompanied Newcastle on their UEFA Cup trips.
He said: "I love getting to know the Newcastle players and Jonathan Edwards. I play a lot of golf with them.
"Some of the players are very good. Harps is very good and Shearer is handy as well. They haven't taken any money off me yet, but it is only a matter of time.
"Shearer has shot four or five under, so I think we will be negotiating his handicap very closely. I don't want him taking any money off me."
The serious business starts this week at the Madeira Open before jetting to the US.
Ferrie, who made a flying visit to Augusta for some practice last week, added: "I qualified for the Masters by finishing sixth in the US Open. …