Mixed fortunes for Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest in Turkey

Ewen Ferguson, left, is safely into the final two rounds in Turkey and could be joined by fellow amateur Grant Forrest, right. Picture: Getty Images
Ewen Ferguson, left, is safely into the final two rounds in Turkey and could be joined by fellow amateur Grant Forrest, right. Picture: Getty Images
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Ewen Ferguson’s delight was tempered by disappointment for Grant Forrest as one made the cut in the Turkish Airlines Challenge but the other suffered an unexpected early exit.

Bearsden 19-year-old Ferguson comfortably made it into the final two rounds at Gloria Golf Club after carding two 70s to sit joint-26th on four-under in Belek.

But fellow amateur Forrest agonisingly missed out by a shot after seeing his opening 68 undone by a second-round 76.

For Ferguson, it was mission accomplished as he joined Duncan Stewart, Bradley Neil and Ross Kellett in progressing to the weekend.

“The main thing I was wanting to do here was make the cut and I wouldn’t have cared if it was on the dot,” admitted the 2013 British Boys’ champion. “It means I can relax a bit more over the weekend.”

Under a change in the Challenge Tour rules this season, amateurs can secure points towards a ranking for when they join the paid ranks.

So Ferguson can now go out and play with gay abandon in the final two rounds knowing that he can do himself a big favour when the time comes for him to turn professional.

“Missing the cut in the Lytham Trophy last weekend annoyed me a lot, so it’s nice to have come here and made amends for that disappointment,” he added.

“I know that I have a low score in me, so hopefully I can go out over the weekend and show that.”

Ferguson chipped in for a birdie-2 at the 15th but picked out a par save as the key moment in his second circuit.

“I was two-under for the tournament playing the second, which was my 11th, and holed a seven-footer for par,” he said. “When I was reading it, I said to myself ‘this is a big momentum putt’.

“Holing that kept me going and, though I missed some chances, I stayed patient before making birdies at the sixth and eighth, my 15th and 17th holes.

“What’s pleased me most about the last couple of days is that I’ve channeled my energy in the right way.”

Forrest negotiated his opening round without putting a foot wrong said he’d been “sloppy” from the start second time around.

The 22-year-old from Craigielaw was five-over for the day with three to play before a thunderstorm caused a delay of around 30 minutes.

After resuming, he was unable to birdie the par-5 16th, then got up and down from a bunker at the short 17th before seeing a 30-feet eagle attempt stay above ground at the last.

“I just played poor,” admitted the Walker Cup player. “It is disappointing to miss the cut, especially after getting off to a poor start, but that’s golf for you.”

With rounds of 72 and 70, Blairgowrie 20-year-old Neil secured a Challenge Tour cheque for just the second time since he turned professional last June.

“Making the cut will give my confidence a big boost,” admitted the 2014 Amateur champion.

He had laid the foundations with a battling 72 on Thursday, where he recovered well from two double-bogeys in three holes at the start of the back nine. Neil then bagged six birdies in his second round.

“It was one of those days when I seemed to follow a birdie with a bogey, which was a bit frustrating,” he said. “But I played solid and my putting was really good - it didn’t let me down.”

Last week’s winner in Madrid, Stewart is alongside Neil on two-under following opening efforts of 70 and 72 on the Mediterranean coast.

“Both my concentration and energy levels were bad today,” admitted the 31-year-old after finding water at the last and turning what should have been a straightforward birdie into a bogey.

“I struggled with the greens a bit and became frustrated as a result of that.”

Enjoying more success on the putting surfaces than he did on the opening day, Motherwell man Kellett completed the quartet of Scots to make the cut on one-under after a second-round 70.

Peter Whiteford (70) and David Law (71) both missed out on one-over, with Paul Shields (74) finishing two shots outside the cut.

Like Forrest, it was a case of second-round disappointment for Jack Doherty, who followed an opening 69 with a 78, coming home in 41.

Taking full advantage of the benign morning conditions, Frenchman Matthieu Pavon backed up an first-round 68 with a 64 to sit on 12-under-par.

He leads by two shots from compatriot Clement Sordet and Swede Sebastian Soderberg, the early pacesetter in this season’s Road to Oman.