Ewen Ferguson ready for first year on DP World Tour

Bearsden golfer Ewen Ferguson believes the time is right for his step up to the elite level of professional golf.

Ewen Ferguson in action at the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old is preparing for his first year on the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, and will make his first appearance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January.

Ferguson earned his ticket to top flight with a consistent 2021 which saw him finish eighth in the second level Challenge Tour’s order of merit and feels he showed in previous appearances in individual European Tout events that he’s ready to mix it with the big boys.

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He said: “I've always had spells in my golfing career since I've been really young that I've tried to set marks by. Getting my card the mark was definitely by 25.

"I always felt that when it happened it would be the right time and before this year started I felt that I'd had some good results on the main tour, I'd played with some really top quality pros and not felt out of place whatsoever so I felt it was the right moment.

"I felt really comfortable all year that I'd do it and that I had a really good team - psychologist, swing coach, management company. Everything just felt really stable and I think that showed in my results.

"My bad results were decent and my good results were very good."

The one minor blemish is that Ferguson – with three second places and string of other high finishes in 2021 – is still waiting for his first title win.

But for him it’s not a major issue; the bigger picture is more important.

He said: "It doesn't really matter as long as you get off the tour. At the end of the day that's what the Challenge Tour is there for, it’s a progression tour.

"A win would be nice, but Bob [McIntyre] didn't win and look at him now. Grant Forrest didn't win and look at him now and there's many top English players and professionals doing amazingly on the European and world scene right now that haven't won on the Challenge Tour.

"At the end of the day it's a progression tour; it's there to get off of and that's been the ultimate goal.

"You're not always thinking about winning, you're thinking about getting in a position to get your card.

"That might change because the money's so much more and you're not always thinking about it. I have spoken to many players about being on the main tour who say there's more pressure on the Challenge Tour.

"You know you need to play well. On the main tour you can not play that well, still finish 30th and walk away with a lot. On the Challenge Tour you need to finish in the top five or it's not worth being there.

"Six top fives and loads of top 20s was good enough. The win didn't come but I was very, very close - I finished second three times, fourth in a play-off and got the job done and it was very comfortable in the end."

Ferguson feels his game has developed year by year but says using a new swing coach in Jamie Gough at the start of the year has been a major factor.

And the fact that as a Rangers fan, he has also been able to spend a bit of time with his coach’s brother – who just happens to be Ibrox legend Richard Gough – is an added attraction.

He said: "I feel I've got naturally bigger and stronger which helps with a little bit of distance stuff and a little bit of stamina, playing for longer periods of time and knowing what to expect.

"I think the best part of my game's my driving and I think in 2019 and 2020 it was one of the weakest parts of my game. Usually that's where I tear courses apart, with my driving, because I put myself in so many positions and hit so many fairways.

"I changed swing coach at the end of 2020, start of 2021. I met [Jamie] out in Dubai at the end of the year and started working with him in Qatar and I trust him so much.

"He works with a lot of other top players and he changed quite a few things in my swing. My driving was just on and I didn't need to worry about it, I was hitting so many more fairways and felt so much more comfortable in the rest of my game because that's where it's supposed to be."

Looking ahead to his first year as a fully fledged DP World Tour player, Ferguson’s aim is simply to continue the progression he’s been making – and if that elusive first title comes along it will be a welcome bonus.

“I'm still young and every year since I've been a professional I've got a little bit better,” he said.

"Next year it will be the same thing - figure out what I can do better and improve it and try and get over that line - wait for my time and try and get myself into contention and if I can get over that line and win that would be the ultimate goal for me.

"I think I'm good enough and just need to put myself in that position and do it.

"It's not always within your control. If I can get myself into contention that would be within my control and if it works in favour of me that's fantastic but you can't help it if someone outplays you by a shot or two.

"The margins in golf are so small - if you lip out and somebody lips in on the last hole, then another week it might work in your favour.

"To get over the line, that's my goal but I'm not making it my goal. My goal is to put myself in the position and if it works out then fantastic."