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Qatar Masters: Ewen Ferguson’s brilliant bounceback brings his maiden DP World Tour win

Ewen Ferguson is the third Scot to win the Qatar Masters.
Ewen Ferguson is the third Scot to win the Qatar Masters.

Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson banished the disappointment of Kenya last month by making a late run for his maiden DP World Tour victory at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

The 25-year-old Bearsden boy had a startling eagle-par-birdie finish at Doha GC to become the third Scot to win the title, following in the footsteps of Paul Lawrie (twice) and Andrew Coltart.

Ferguson chipped in at the 16th for an eagle two but he still needed to keep his nerve for a 12 foot birdie putt at the long 18th to secure a one-shot victory with a seven-under aggregate of 281.

Ferguson’s final charge completed a two-under round of 70 to leapfrog playing partner Chase Hanna, Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult and Adrian Meronk of Poland. Third round leader Matthew Jordan had earlier plunged out of contention with a disastrous run of five bogeys in six holes.

Bounceback from Kenya disappointment

It’s an immediate bounceback by the former British Boys champion. Ferguson led by four going into the final round of the Magical Kenya Open three weeks ago, but had a 76. He slumped to a share of 8th place and afterwards admitted the pressure of leading had got to him.

This time he recovered from an early double bogey before his furious finish in tough windy conditions allowed him to come from three strokes back overnight for the title.

“Unbelievable,” he said, clearly emotional at the end of Sunday’s play.

“I know I’ve been saying it for ages, I’ll get over the line eventually, I’ll just keep working and learning. It did get to the point where I thought I don;t know if I’ll ever manage to win.

“But I think I’ve been in contention enough now, out here early in the season and when I was on the Challenge Tour. Today I managed to deal with it, and to win is incredible.

“It’s years and years of hard work. My Mum and Dad, my sister and my brother, they gave me everything to try to get to this moment. It’s an absolute dream come true.

“I’m just off the phone to my Dad and he said he was very proud. He says that every day, and when I’m out there I know I’m making him proud if I’m trying my best. That’s all you can do isn’t it?”

Chipping practice pays off

Ferguson revealed that coach Jamie Gough had insisted he get to the course early on Sunday – and it paid off big-time.

“All last year and this year we’ve been working on so much stuff, getting my swing ready,” he said. “Even today, we got here early because Goughie said my chipping’s not been good enough. “We worked on it, and I chipped in at the 16th, a decent chip at the last to set up the birdie. So it worked.

“So much practice, but that’s because you can’t let anything skip out here. Everything’s got to be as good as it can be. Today towards the end the wind got up, and I’m from Scotland, so I was okay!”

It’s a belated maiden professional victory for Ferguson in his debut season on the DP World Tour.

His amateur career brought British and Scottish Boys titles and a place in the 2015 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team. His singles victory over the USA’s Maverick McNealy was one of the highlights of GB&I’s win at Royal Lytham.

Potential fulfilled as Ferguson climbs the rankings

It’s taken a little longer than many expected for Ferguson to join his close friends Connor Syme and Robert MacIntyre on the main tour.

“Bob just sent me a text,” added Ewen. It’s got a video from when I was 18 or 19 acting like an idiot saying ‘I can’t believe this guy won’!

“Connor is my best pal out here and he texted me saying he knew it was coming. He’s just the nicest guy and we help each other with our games.”

A few decent performances on invites on the DP World Tour during the pandemic and a strong performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October augured well for Ewen. He clinched promotion from Challenge Tour just a couple of weeks later.

He’d come close to a maiden pro victory losing in a play-off at the Sydbank Esbjerg Challenge in Denmark. But this win brings a winners’ cheque of nearly €300,000 (£250,000) and full exempt status on the DP World Tour for another two years.

It also pushes Ewen to tenth in the Race to Dubai standings, and up close to the top 150 on the Official World Golf Rankings.

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