Fingers crossed I’m on line
Ewen credits a flier at Fairmont to watching Westwood master craft
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