cornwall and truo's billy downing, courtesy & copyright tom ward sportThe 2011 South Western Counties Golf Association Championship Week is underway and host county Devon top the leaderboard after day one at Saunton.

Neil Holland’s Devon teed off their Matchplay Shield defence by beating Somerset 8 ½ - 5 ½ in yesterday’s opening round, Wiltshire rallied to beat Gloucestershire 7 ½ - 6 ½ while Dorset also lifted their tails to draw 7-7 with Cornwall.

Devon and last summer’s English County finalists Somerset were tied 4-4 at lunchtime following the morning singles matches but the hosts pulled away in the afternoon foursomes, which they won 4 ½ - 1 ½.

In the next match out, Dorset lifted their tails after losing the singles 5 ½ - 2 ½ to tie by winning the foursomes 4 ½ - 1 ½.

Wiltshire trailed 5-3 following the morning singles but also won the foursomes 4 ½ - 1 ½ to beat Gloucestershire, who play Somerset today in the first match out on course (8.15 and 1300).

Wiltshire play Cornwall (9.15 & 1400) while Devon defend their unbeaten start against Dorset (10.15 & 1500).

Tomorrow the region’s top 72 amateur golfers compete to become South West individual champion over 36 holes, teeing off at 0700 and throughout the day.

The strokeplay competition also acts as the South West qualifying round for this year’s English County Finals.

Somerset represented the South West last year.

Driving range: Cornwall and Truro's Billy Downing, one of the region's top amateur golfers pictured in full swing. Downing is set to be in action at Saunton tomorrow (tomwardsport)

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