Ewen Ferguson learns valuable lesson from 'ultimate pro' Lee Westwood

Ewen Ferguson is starting to feel at home on the European Tour after learning from "ultimate professional" Lee Westwood that scoring at the top level isn't always about hitting wonder shots.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 6:42 pm
Ewen Ferguson gestures on the 18th hole during the first round of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Ewen Ferguson gestures on the 18th hole during the first round of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The 24-year-old from Bearsden joined Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren in putting the Saltire on the leaderboard in the first round of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA with matching five-under-par 67s at Fairmont St Andrews.

Ferguson's effort was bogey-free as the former British and Scottish Boys' champion maintained his promising run of form on the main tour, having recorded top-30 finishes in the Andalucia Masters, Irish Open and Scottish Open.

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"After having one good week, you have a bit of confidence, you realise, 'I can do it'," he said. "At Valderrama, I got to play with Lee Westwood and played quite well. Playing with some of these guys who have won on Tour gives you a bit of belief.

Scott Jamieson also got off to a promising start in the Scottish Championship presented by AXA with a five-under-par 67 at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

"You think, 'you know what, I can hit these shots, I can do it'. You learn so much, especially when you realise that you don't need to hit every shot perfect. Sometimes I think that playing on the European Tour you need to hit amazing shots all the time - you don't.

"You just need to sometimes play the right shot, which can be 20 feet, 30 feet and you can still make a good score. Lee seems to be the ultimate professional at that. All the time he just seems to do the right thing and that's why he's up there every week."

As Spaniard Adrian Otaegui carded a brilliant 10-under-par 62 to set the pace, Ferguson was delighted with his day's work, having birdied the 12th, 18th, first, fourth and seventh after starting on the back nine to sit alongside Westwood.

"It was really good," he said. "Tried to stay really calm, hit one shot at a time. Tried to make it a little job of hitting a good shot, get the gloves on and snood up and moving on to the next shot.”

Marc Warren plays his second shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Jamieson made his promising start thanks to a burst of four straight birdies around the turn before adding another three on the spin on his back nine.

"First thing this morning the wind felt as if it was almost as strong as the first couple of days," said the Florida-based Scot. "I think it was just because it was so cold early on. When it's so cold. the ball doesn't travel particularly far.

"Being right next to the sea, it's real heavy air. Just eats up ball big time. It was just tough to get moving early on. Try to keep the ball in front of you until everything warmed up."

He was disappointed to drop a shot at his closing hole but added: "Standing on the first tee, my tenth, I was only level-par, so five-under is a good start after that.

Warren, who tied for fourth in the Scottish Open a fortnight ago, joined his two compatriots on five-under after an afternoon effort that contained seven birdies.David Drysdale came home in four-under 32 to sign for a 69, one better than Connor Syme, Craig Howie and Calum Hill. But it was a tough day for both Grant Forrest and Bob MacIntyre as they signed for 76 and 78 respectively.

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