8am Round-Up: Ewen Ferguson secures Dunhill Links spot

Ewen Ferguson is set to make his European Tour debut on home soil in a fortnight's time. Picture: Kevin Kirk

Ewen Ferguson is set to make his European Tour debut on home soil in a fortnight's time. Picture: Kevin Kirk

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Newly-turned professional Ewen Ferguson has secured an invitation for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews in a fortnight’s time.

It will be the 20-year-old’s European Tour debut, having clinched the golden opportunity through his management company, Edinburgh-based Bounce Sport.

“Delighted to announce that Ewen Ferguson has been granted an invitation to play this year’s Dunhill Links Championship,” revealed Bounce Sport on Twitter.

Ferguson, the 2013 British Boys’ champion and a member of Great Britain & Ireland’s winning Walker Cup side last year, is among 21 players to have received invitations for the $5 million event so far.

They also include former Open champion Stewart Cink along with his fellow Americans Troy Merritt, Lee McCoy, Zac Blair, Daneil Im, Chris Stroud and Sean O’Hair.

Irishman Paul Dunne, who shared the lead heading into the final round of The Open at St Andrews last year, is also on the list, as is Frenchman Romain Langasque, the 2015 Amateur Championship winner at Carnoustie.

Masters champion Danny Willett is set to be joined by six of his Ryder Cup team-mates in the event as they head straight to Scotland from Hazeltine.

The field will also include former Open champions Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen, as well as Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open winner Alex Noren.

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Paul Doherty is the leading Scot, four shots behind England’s Lee Corfield, heading into the final round of the MENA Tour’s Golf Citizen Classic at The Els Club in Dubai.

“My game feels good and a low one is close,” said Doherty, a former Scottish Boys champion, after carding a 71 for a three-under total.

“But we all now how hard this game is, so I need to stay patient and wait for it to come.”

One off the lead after an opening 68, Scottish amateur Daniel Hendry slipped to joint-22nd following a second-round 75.

Defending champion Clarke Lutton also went backwards on day two, dropping to a share of 43rd after a 77.

Corfield catapulted himself into pole position following a flawless 66, which earned him a two-shot lead over compatriot Luke Joy and Swede Per Barth.

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European champions Scotland lost 7-2 to England on the opening day of the Senior’s Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula in South Wales.

Ronnie Clark and Graham Bell were morning winners for the Scots as they lost the foursomes 2-1 before Ian Brotherston delivered the sole singles success.

Hosts Wales beat Ireland 6-3 in the other first-day match.

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Leading clubhouse architect Mungo Park, the great grandson of the first Open champion, is to address a major conference in Scotland examining past, present and future course designs.

Park, founder of Mungo Park Architect in Gloucestershire, will deliver a keynote speech at ‘Design Masters: The Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference’ being held in Inverness on March 1-2 2017.

The conference will open with a civic reception hosted by the Highland Council and will celebrate the lasting impact on the game by the likes of Old Tom Morris, James Braid, Donald Ross, Willie Park Jr and Alister MacKenzie and their enduring effect on modern day design and internationally known courses including Royal Dornoch and this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open venue, Castle Stuart Golf Links.

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Spaniard Marta Figueras-Dotti has been selected by Annika Sörenstam as a vice-captain for next year’s Solheim Cup in Iowa.

“I am very happy to have Marta join our team,” said the Swede of announcement made in the build up to the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella.

“She has a tremendous passion for golf and life and her positive energy is contagious. She’s dedicated to growing the game and actively coaches around the world.”

Figueras-Dotti, who has been involved in seven Solheim Cups, is the second European vice-captain to be named, joining Catriona Matthew.

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Former Amateur champion Bradley Neil made a promising start in his card bid in this season’s European Tour Qualifying School.

The Blairgowrie player carded a four-under-par 68 at Ebreichsdorf in Germany to sit in the top 10 after the opening round of his first stage event.

Ben Collier, the only other Scot in the field, is already out of the reckoning after retiring.

There are no Scottish players in the line-up for this week’s other stage one event at Collingtree Park in Northamptonshire.

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