Ewen Ferguson reveals Thomas Bjorn's Ryder Cup rallying call to Hero Cup players
Along with two other victorious European skippers in the biennial event, Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley, Biorn addressed the 20 players taking part in this week’s Hero Cup at a dinner in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night.
“I heard a few guys saying they felt goosebumps when Olazabal was speaking and telling some of his stories about him and Seve [Ballesteros] and, even thinking about it now, it was so inspiring,” Ferguson told The Scotsman. “So was Thomas Bjorn and you want to do it for them. He effectively said to us, ‘we’re done, having taken this tour to where it is now and now it’s your turn to take over the mantle’.”
Luke Donald, the European Ryder Cup captain, is overseeing the inaugural Hero Cup and has been joined at Abu Dhabi Golf Club by his three assistant captains - Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Referring to Bjorn, Ferguson added: “I know that he was probably known as being a bit of a moaner when he was playing, but I’ve played with him a few times now and he’s always put his arm around me and asked ‘how’s the game?’
“I also played in the Pep Guardiola Pro-Am and felt I didn’t know anyone there and he was the first man over to me. He’s been awesome and it’s cool being around guys like that and hearing their stories. They are so open to being able to pick their brain.”
Ferguson played on a winning Great Britain & Ireland team in the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham, where he raised one of the biggest cheers over the weekend as he beat Maverick McNealy in the first-day singles.
“It was electric,” he said of that experience. “On 18 on Saturday, I holed a five-footer to win my game after running the first putt past the hole. The day after, I chipped in on 17 to get back to all square against Beau Hosler after being three down and everyone was going mental before he stiffed it at the last to beat me one up.”
The defeated US side on that occasion included Bryson DeChambeau, with Ferguson bumping into him recently. “I went over to Miami for a Puma shoot about a month ago and walked in to see Bryson there and and that was so cool,” said the Scot, smiling.
Ferguson, who has his brother, Lewis, keeping him company in the United Arab Emirates, where the former British and Scottish Boys’ champion is now based, already has something in common with Donald as he bids to make the former world No 1’s team in September.
“We’ve got same coach now,” he said of Jamie Gough, brother of former Scotland captain Richard. “It’s good to get some videos of his short game and it helps to get closer to him. Jamie was with him on the range at 7.30am this morning then I was working with him at 10. It’s cool just to be next to guys like that as you keep thinking to yourself, ‘he won this and that’.”
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