Scotland have been forced to make a late change for next week’s European Team title defence in France after Ewen Ferguson pulled out with a wrist injury.
The Walker Cup player retired from today’s Open final qualifier at Gailes Links after just six holes, having already been forced to give up his spot in last week’s Scottish Challenge in Aviemore due to the same problem.
With Scotland launching their European title defence in Chantilly next Wednesday, the Bearsden player revealed afterwards that he’d decided to withdraw from the six-man side heading for Chantilly.
“It’s a recurrence of the wrist injury that I sustained earlier in the year and led to me missing out on a couple of events,” said Ferguson, who was level par for his opening four holes in Ayrshire before running up back-to-back double-bogeys.
“It is so upsetting because I have been playing so well. My practice round in Aviemore sucked because of the injury and I had no option but to pull out even though I was desperate to play in the Scottish Challenge.
“I took a few days off to rest it, but when I played my practice round here I knew that something wasn’t right and my dad, who was out with me, could see that, too.
“I went home and iced it as well as taking some pain-killers because I didn’t want miss out on a chance to qualify for The Open, but it’s the long clubs I am struggling with and I hit a 3-wood into the fifth, standing level par at the time, that was as bad a shot as I’ve hit in my life.
“I had a little chip shot at the next that I thinned and that showed me that I just couldn’t continue as I can’t commit to the shot.”
The 2013 British Boys’ champion added: “I’m supposed to be at Loch Lomond on Thursday for a Scottish team get-together ahead of the European Team Championship but I’ll need to phone Ian Rae and see if I can get any physio or treatment.
“I’ve got to look at the long-term picture, though, and while it was great to be on the winning side last year, I need to be careful. I have to make the right decision.”
His likely replacement would be Glencruitten left-hander Robert MacIntyre, who won the Scottish Amateur last year and recently reached the final of the Amateur Championship in Wales.