Scottish golfer hailed as having X factor: praise heaped on three-time DP World Tour winner Ewen Ferguson

Scot’s coach talks about how he ‘gets his game face on’ and ‘looked as though he was in control all day’ in Munich

Ask anyone who has known Ewen Ferguson for any length of time and they’ll tell you he’s always had a winning mentality. His eyes light

up when he sees his name on a leaderboard and, as a consequence, is one of those players who you just know is never going to be scared of finding himself in a winning position.

“When you get in that mix, you have to have some kind of X factor’ to get it done,” observed Richie Ramsay, speaking on the range at The Renaissance Club, venue for this week’s Genesis Scottish Open, as he reflected on Ferguson landing his third DP World Tour title triumph with a brilliant weekend win in the BMW International Open in Munich. “There’s some people who don’t get it done and some who do get it done. And I’d put Ewen in the group that do. I think he feels quite comfortable in that atmosphere coming down the stretch.”

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Not surprisingly, Ferguson decided to spend some time with his family and friends on Monday after adding to his breakthrough victory in the 2022 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters then backing that up by adding the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland a few months later. He’ll be through in East Lothian on Tuesday morning to start getting himself ready for his next assignment and deserves to be heading to the first tee in Thursday’s opening round in the $9 million Rolex Series event with an almighty bounce in his step.

Ewen Ferguson with the volunteers after winning the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried on Sunday. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.Ewen Ferguson with the volunteers after winning the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried on Sunday. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
Ewen Ferguson with the volunteers after winning the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried on Sunday. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

“He’s had a bit of a tough time recently, which hasn’t been ideal obviously,” added Ramsay of Ferguson revealing that he’d been struggling with vertigo, “but I think that’s one of the reasons why he won on Sunday. You find yourself going through a bit and come out of it a bit stronger.”

Referring to a group that also includes Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest, Connor Syme, Calum Hill and David Law, Ramsay said: “All the players in that crop have made progress as it feels like they are improving. He’s the one that stands out (on the DP World Tour) because he’s won, but I also think it was really good to see Connor finishing fourth on Sunday. He’s right there and you feel he is waiting in the wings as potentially the next one to win.

“But the BMW International Open is obviously a big one to win and it’s the right time of the year. It’s got him (Ferguson) in The Open, which is a lot harder to do than it used to be. He’s got the perfect platform now to play well in big tournaments and use that to pick up points because I’d imagine his end game is to get a PGA Tour card, right? That’s got to be the big goal and playing good here especially against people you are going to be competing against next year, is really important for him.

“We’ve said it for a long time. If you look at the guys who do well, they win and they win in their club, at district level, national and international and then they pull that into playing on tour. When you see players like Ewen, it’s not a surprise to me that he wins and it wouldn’t be a surprise that some of those others are as well soon.

“They’ll all got a nice little sweet spot where they feel like they are quite stable and golf is first and foremost. It doesn’t consume them, but they are very dedicated in what they do and they apply themselves. You know, it’s not a surprise when you see it day to day and hopefully this is a little bit of a catalyst for the guys to say ‘he did it and Bob did it’, so then people like Connor, Davy or Grant or whoever it may be - myself or Jaimo [Scott Jamieson] - can get in the mix because you always want to see Saltires up there, right?”

While Ferguson may have delayed his arrival on the East Lothian coast, his coach was there on Monday and Pittenweem-based Jamie Gough, the brother of former Rangers and Scotland defender Richard, was chuffed to bits for the 28-year-old Scot.

“He gets his game face on yesterday it was unshakeable as it looked as though he was in control all day. He was in good spirits all week and just seemed to have a calm aura about him all week,” said Gough. “I think it’s the biggest of the three wins he’s had so far. I think it had a good field and that event has a great history. A lot of great players have won it and gone on to great things, so it’s a good one to win.

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“The top ten on the Race to Dubai at the end of the season is everyone’s ultimate goal to get a PGA Tour card, but it’s about small steps and making steps in the right direction. He hasn’t been well and it’s been a tough couple of months and for him to come out and win again is brilliant.

“I think the last couple of weeks he has been playing well and he’s been a little bit impatient with himself, but Stevie [Neilson, his caddie] said he was brilliant last week in terms of being patient, so good signs in that respect.

“To be fair, he’s been swing it well for a while, but last week he just seemed to be right on it. Everything seemed to be in really good order - chipping the ball well and putting it well and he made some great up and downs early in the week and he felt like his chipping was fantastic.”

This was win No 32 for Gough, who also works with Ryan Fox and Matthieu Pavon among others. “I am very happy about,” he admitted, “but, listen, it’s down to the boys. You can only guide them and add your value. Winning is hard and I always joke with the boys when I say, ‘you want to be a good coach, so just get good players (laughing).”

With MacIntyre, last year’s runner up, having also tasted success fairly recently in the RBC Canadian Open, there’s good reason to feel genuine hope about a Scottish success this weekend. “He loves playing at home, loves this golf course and I think he will be filled with confidence heading into this week, so it will be interesting to see how he does,” observed Gough of Ferguson.

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