Thomas Bjorn heaps praise on 'talented' Ewen Ferguson and Bob MacIntyre after Scottish duo dazzle in Denmark
Thomas Bjorn, the winning Ryder Cup captain in 2018, is feeling confident about the pipeline of talent in European golf after watching Scottish duo Ewen Ferguson and Bob MacIntyre both dazzle in Denmark.
Playing in the same group as Bjorn in the opening round of the Made in HimmerLand, Ferguson carded an eight-under-par 63 to sit one off the lead, held by England’s Ross McGowan, while MacIntyre also shone as he signed for a 65.
On a good day for the Scottish contingent in Farsø, Craig Howie shot 64, Grant Forrest, Stephen Gallacher and Richie Ramsay all posted 66s while David Drysdale, David Law and Marc Warren signed for 68s.
Ferguson, a two-time winner on the DP World Tour this year in his rookie season, illuminated his round by holing out from 140 yards with a wedge for an eagle-2 at the first - his tenth hole of the day.
“He’s in great form and he was impressive today,” said Bjorn, who, as one of Luke Donald’s vice captains for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, had been sent out with both Ferguson and MacIntyre, of the former. “If that’s the golf that he plays, he is very solid and it doesn’t look as though there are many negatives in his game.”
Ferguson landed his breakthrough win on the main tour in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March before adding the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland last month.
“It looked easy for him today and he never seemed to get in his own way,” added Bjorn, who recovered from dropping two shots early on to break par himself with a 69.
“Playing with him and Bob today, if that’s the talent that’s coming through this tour, we are looking pretty good for the future.
“You’ve got to keep pushing. Winning events is the thing that gives you confidence and you’ve got to keep pushing and go on to bigger things and get stronger in your mindset.
“They have all got a lot to learn, but they are doing the right things and those two today you can tell they believe they can do it and that’s an excellent start. So impressed.”
Ferguson had made four birdies going out before adding two more on his back nine, but it was that eagle that brought out his biggest smile of the day as he set the clubhouse target along with Englishman Matthew Southgate and South African Justin Walters.
“I had an in-between yardage and, because I was playing quite well, I thought I would just hammer a wedge straight at it,” said the 26-year-old from Bearsden.
It was his third course record in recent weeks, having briefly held that following a 61 at Fairmont St Andrews in the Hero Open then shooting the same score in the ISPS Handa World Invitational. “Pretty cool and pretty amazing,” he said of that feat while declaring of his day’s work: “Just played really good. Didn’t do anything wrong and just enjoyed my golf.”
MacIntyre, who finished second in this event at the same venue in 2019, eagled the eighth in an effort that also contained five birdies on a day when Ferguson felt it had been a “fun” group.
“It was the first time I’d played with Thomas and obviously I’ve played with Bob since I was, well, in nappies,” he added. “Thomas was saying he couldn’t believe how much us Scots moan, but I think he matched us pretty well today (laughing).”
McGowan, a two-time DP World Tour winner, finished eagle-birdie as he set the pace, with home player Rasmus Hojgaard already lurking ominously on eight-under alongside compatriot Marcus Helligkilde, last year’s Challenge Tour No 1.
In the afternoon wave, Howie came home in 31 while Ramsay opened with four birdies in five holes before taking the gloss off his day’s work by with two late bogeys.
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