Scottish Open: Ewen Ferguson loving chance to 'showcase my talent' on home soil
Using a birdie-birdie start as a springboard, the two-time DP World Tour winner opened with a four-under-par 66 at The Renaissance Club to sit inside the top ten at the end of the first day. “I think I did very well,” he said of his effort. “I think coming out in your home Open and birdieing the first two holes is quite impressive.”
Five-under with one to play, Ferguson finished with a bogey, but it didn’t hurt too much. “I knew at some point in links golf in a round you're going to have a wee point where you need to stick in and really grind and it came,” he added. I said to my caddie (Dunbar man Stephen Neilson), it's not going to be free flowing and, in the middle of the front nine (his inward half), I battled hard.”
Ferguson’s effort left him a shot ahead of Bob MacIntyre. “I love playing in Scotland,” said the Bearsden man. “I love playing in front of my family and stuff like that. When I'm playing here, I want to showcase my talent and what I'm good at.”
Through it now being co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, the field is divided equally between the two circuits and, on this occasion, eight of the world’s top ten spearhead the line up. “I play golf a lot of weeks of the year in Europe and as soon as I'm done with my round, I go in, I have my food and have lunch and dinner with my pals and all that, and I go to my room and watch the PGA Tour,” said Ferguson. “I watch them all the time and try to learn what I need to do better to get to their level. I also know some of them from playing Walker Cups and US Amateurs. To see some of them excel and be world superstars is really cool. But, at the same time, it kind of tells me that it's a small margin and I could get there one day.”
MacIntyre’s 67, which included a birdie-2 at the tough ninth to finish, came in the company of three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and European Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood. Recalling when he played with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler on the same stage in 2019, the Oban man admitted: “I remember on the first tee with those guys, I could hardly tee the ball up. Today it was just another day at the office. I’ve played with Tommy loads of times, though it was the first time I’d met Jordan.”
After hitting the opening shot, David Law started birdie-par-eagle-birdie to share the early lead before having to settle for a par-70. “I wasn’t quite firing, to be honest,” said the Aberdonian. “If I got in at two-under, I would have been pretty happy. It was a pretty disappointing finish, but not the end of the world.”
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