Fin­gers crossed I’m on line

Ewen cred­its a flier at Fair­mont to watch­ing West­wood mas­ter craft

Daily Record - - GOLF - BY CRAIG SWAN

EWEN FER­GU­SON reck­ons a less than per­fect ed­u­ca­tion from Lee West­wood helped shape his sharp start at St Andrews.

The Glaswe­gian started his Scot­tish Cham­pi­onship bid with a bo­gey-free 67 at the Fair­mont.

Fer­gu­son had a look at the track seven days ago dur­ing a bounce game but says con­sum­ing in­for­ma­tion from West­wood has been just as ben­e­fi­cial.

The 24-year-old played along­side the Ry­der Cup hero at the An­dalu­cia Masters last month.

Fer­gu­son got an in­sight into the strate­gic ap­proach adopted by the elite and said: “You learn so much, es­pe­cially when you re­alise you don’t need to hit ev­ery shot per­fectly.

“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.

“At Valder­rama, I got to play with him and played quite well. Play­ing with some of these guys who have won on

Tour gives you a bit of belief. You think, ‘ You know what? I can hit these shots, I can do it.’ I got an in­vite to the Scot­tish Open and man­aged to post a solid re­sult there as well. I’m just try­ing to roll along with it and see what I can do.”

Fer­gu­son en­ters the sec­ond round joint top of the home con­tin­gent, with Scott Jamieson and Marc War­ren for com­pany on five un­der.

The trio sit in a share of eighth, five shots be­hindind Spaniard Adrian Otaegui who start­edted both nines with a trio of birdies enn route to a 62.

But home­ome favourite Robert MacIn­tyree will not be tee­ing up to­day af­terer with­draw­ing due to an in­jury trou­blin­gubling him in a 78.

Jamiesonon staved off the chill and said: “When it’s so cold, thee ball doesn’t travel avel par­tic­u­larly far. The wind, be­ing right next to the sea, it’s real heavy air – it just eats up ball big time. It was tough to get mov­ing early on.” West­wood shot 67 and was im­pressed with the way young play­ing part­ner Aaron Rai stayed warm. He said: “I was saying to Aaron what an ad­van­tage he has wear­ing two gloves! He ob­vi­ously played well two weeks ago to win the Rolex Se­ries event at the Scot­tish Open but I’m im­pressed with his game. He’s solid. “This course is set up for tourists, I sup­pose, and thethere’s quite a lot of room. But youyou’re not go­ing to see bet­ter greens­gree all year, they are ab­so­lutely im­mac­u­late.” English ace MMatt Wallace and South African Bryce Eas­ton Easto made a run at club­house club leader Otaegui Ot from the af­ter­noon af wave of o play­ers and got clos­est to start to­day three be­hind. Rai, plus fel­low English­men Gar­rick Por­te­ous and Chris Pais­ley, are one fur­ther back on six un­der, joined by Ry­der Cup skip­per Padraig Har­ring­ton.

Otaegui made 10 birdies to set the pace and ad­mits pre-tour­na­ment re­lax­ation was the key to his fast start.

He said: “I played nine holes on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day so I tried not to tire my­self too much play­ing in those dif­fi­cult con­di­tions on the prac­tice days.

“I tried to or­gan­ise my­self. In the af­ter­noons I chilled, stayed in the room, went to the gym and tried not to get cold.”

Mac­In­tyre’s man­age­ment com­pany last night con­firmed the 24-year-old’s event is over due to a “nig­gle around his hip/back, which has been caus­ing dis­com­fort these last cou­ple of weeks”.

They added: “Due to cur­rent Covid re­stric­tions Euro­pean Tour phys­ios are only able to give each player 15 min­utes per day at present, mean­ing he has had to with­draw to re­ceive more in­tense treat­ment to en­able a re­turn to full fit­ness and be ready to play in Cyprus the week af­ter next.”

Stephen Gal­lacher (71) is one un­der while an ea­gle two at the 15th gave David Law some­thing to savour in a 73.

GREAT AND THE SNOOD Fer­gu­son is learn­ing from West­wood, be­low, on Tour

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