Ferguson swallows nerves to clinch second DP World Tour win at World Invitational

Irish Golfer

Ewen Ferguson of Scotland poses for a photograph with the trophy after winning the Men's ISPS Handa World Invitational (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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Ewen Ferguson’s first call after his ISPS HANDA World Invitational was to his dad, who would have been watching every shot he hit from home between his hands.

“I called him and he didn’t even answer!” laughed the Scotsman.

Chances are it was because Mr Ferguson was out celebrating his son’s victory, Ewen holding on with a one-under 69 in the final round at Galgorm Castle for his second DP World Tour win of the season – a three-shot triumph over Spain’s Borja Virto and fellow Scot and best friend Connor Syme at 12-under-par.

The 26-year-old, who adds this title to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters crown he won in March, had opened the week by setting the course record at Galgorm with a nine-under 61 and ended it in perfect fashion, but it didn’t all go his own way on Sunday.

Ferguson had lost the three-shot lead he had taken into the final round midway through the last day, pegged back by England’s Richard Mansell, and memories of blowing a four-shot lead in Kenya came flooding back as he turned onto the back nine.

However, the Scot righted the ship with a birdie at the 10th and as Mansell fell away down the stretch, Ferguson was able to par his way in for the victory that his performance throughout the week deserved, and he was understandably delighted to seal the deal.

“I was nervous all day. I was really nervous on the first tee shot but I just hit it, tried to pretend I wasn’t and that gave me vibes that I was chilled. And I did feel fine. The experience of being under that amount of pressure doesn’t happen a lot, so being able to do that today was just class. Delighted,” he grinned.

“I felt if I kept plodding away then I was okay. My chipping and putting all week has been ridiculous. Relied on that quite a lot and it worked.

“But honestly, you never know it’s yours. You really don’t. I got some lucky breaks today.”

Watching another good friend, Sean Crocker, win wire-to-wire at Fairmont St Andrews a few weeks ago helped him, as did that previous experience from Kenya where he learned a great deal as to how to handle the Sunday pressure when holding a lead.

“I learnt so much from that, how I was trying to force it and didn’t really enjoy it. Today I had fun and tried to smile. I said to my mum no matter what, I’m going to smile at the cameras. Tried my best to do that,” he added.

And now he is a two-time DP World Tour winner with designs on going even higher. Qatar gave him the foundation to kick on from, now he believes that winning in Northern Ireland could be the catalyst for even bigger honours.

While more wins are obviously on the agenda for the Glaswegian, he’s set his sights on a different piece of silverware that he feels could be within his grasp.

“My goal is to be the Rookie of the Year. I think that would be amazing,” he insists. “I saw Bob (MacIntyre) win it and there’s a lot of really cool guys who have won it. I want to be Rookie of the Year.”

Keep up this form and it’s not an impossibility.


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