Ewen Ferguson in mix again in South Africa after 'cool' time with George Coetzee
The 26-year-old Scot, who finished with a flourish to secure a tie for third in the SDC Championship last weekend, sits just four shots off the lead after opening with rounds of 66 and 69 at The Club at Steyn City in Johannesburg.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Ferguson of taking up where he’d left off last week as he recorded his best finish this season. “I played nicely again and it was nice to play with George Coetzee.”
The South African is a five-time DP World Tour and Ferguson is a big fan. He added: “I’ve been a fan of the European Tour since I was young and I’ve always seen him (Coetzee) around. Even when I went to events, I’d always see him there and he also used to get coached by the same coach (Jamie Gough) as me.
“So I kind of looked up to him through that and he’s just a very successful golfer and I think ultimately that’s what we all want to be. I’ve not played with him before, so it was nice to do that today.
“I have always admired him, so it was cool to play with him and try and impress him and I think I managed to do that, so that was fun. Obviously also playing with Jordan [Smith], who is a friend of mine, was good fun.”
On a day when German Nick Bachem backed up his opening 65 with a 66 to lead on 13-under, Ferguson signed for six birdies and three bogeys.
“I found it tough this morning when I teed off as I was quite tired and still a little bit stiff as we are not used to 6.48am tee times and 4 o’clock alarms but, as the round went on, I managed to find myself a bit and it was nice to hole a putt on the last for a birdie,” said the two-time DP World Tour winner.
“I’d probably say it (this week’s course) doesn’t really suit me. I’d say last week probably suited me more. But everyone out here is a fantastic golfer and, if you play well, you can play well anywhere and that’s what I told myself at the start of the week. It was nice to dig deep today and I think three under is a really good result.”
After opening with a six-under 66, Calum Hill slipped seven shots off the lead following his par-72, with Connor Syme also making it through to the weekend on five-under.
Bachem, who has made 17 birdies so far, leads by one from Frenchman Romain Langasque and Finland’s Sami Valimaki.
Elsewhere Liam Johnston cemented his top–ten position with a second successive 68 as all four Scots in the field made the cut in the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge in Bangalore.
As Spaniard Manuel Elvira followed his opening 63 with a 70 to stay out in front, Johnston reached the halfway stage just three behind on eight-under. Craig Howie is two shots further back, with Michael Stewart and Euan Walker on five-under and three-under respectively.
On the Asian Tour, David Drysdale stayed in the hunt for four spots in the 151st Open by sitting joint-48th at the midpoint in the World City Championship at Hong Kong Golf Club.
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