Ewen Ferguson is starting to feel more comfortable at the top level and hopes to follow his friends Robert MacIntyre and Connor Syme to becoming regular European Tour contenders.
The 25-year-old finished tied 16th in the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews, the best placed home finisher after a final round five-under 67 jumped him up the leaderboard and put a series of slow finishes behind him.
Ferguson has no tour card but is edging up the rankings with these occasional visits to the UK Swing, and a birdie at the last left him feeling upbeat.
“I’ve not played the last hole that great in the last few tournaments, so I took three-wood off the last tee and just tried to get it in position, get it in position again with the lay-up, and almost play it the smart way rather than trying to overpower it and make a mistake,” he said.
“I was quite happy that things I worked on with my coach at home (Gregor Monks) paid off. Knowing that it wasn’t great with the driver today, I thought ‘get it in position and change things up’. It’s hard to do in the head when you’re in the heat of battle, so I did that and it paid off.”
Ferguson has always had the talent, but the belief didn’t really come until his strong performance in Ireland at the start of the second UK Swing.
“Getting the first result there was what went right over the last few weeks,” he said. “I knew I could play and I’ve done it before, so that wasn’t really in question, it was just breaking down the barrier of doing it once, getting some confidence and starting to feel a bit more comfortable playing with good players.
“I played with Sam (Horsfield) today, who has won twice; it’s great meeting these people and thinking I feel more comfortable in their surroundings. I have lots of pals like Bob (Macintyre) and Connor (Syme) who seem to be doing it every week, so it’s nice to join in that party a little bit.”
Ferguson will take next week’s Italian Open off, but play both the back-to-back events in Cyprus to complete his run on the main circuit.
Calum Hill would like to pack up and take home the front nine of the Torrance Course, shooting a cumulative 62 in his two trips over the weekend, but he found the back nine a little tougher and had to settle for a two-under 70 yesterday.
That was good enough to get him into the top 25, alongside compatriot Marc Warren, who birdied three of the last four holes for his 70, but just two-under over the weekend when he’d been four off the lead at the halfway stage proved a disappointment for the four-time tour winner.
David Law (68) and Richie Ramsay (70) finished on eight-under with Connor Syme (72) and Scott Jamieson (69) one shot further back.