Ewen Ferguson has revealed how he used abuse from online trolls to fire him to victory in the Qatar Masters.
The 25-year-old Scot sealed his maiden victory on the DP World Tour on Sunday on what was just his sixth start as a full card-holder on the circuit.
That came only three weeks after he suffered the heartbreak of surrendering a four-shot 54-hole lead at the Kenya Open, in the aftermath of which he was subjected to a torrent of vicious messages.
Appearing on this week’s episode of The bunkered Podcast, Ferguson explained how he used that as motivation for his win in Doha.
"I got so many messages on social media that night [after Kenya]," he explained. "Crazy messages from people saying quite bad, abusive stuff. Gamblers and stuff like that. But I actually loved it. I just thought, 'I cannot wait to prove them wrong'. I just felt like one day I would do it.
“Three weeks later, there it was, I showed them.
“They were calling me a ‘f**king fat loser’ and an embarrassment to my family and stuff like that. I was just like, what the heck?
"There were loads of them. I had, like, 30 messages which is quite a lot. I didn’t reply. I just left them there. I still look at them sometimes. I’m looking at them just now, actually. ‘Bottle-job’. ‘Embarrassment to your family’. ‘No point in you even turning up this week’. These are all different ones, by the way.”
Ferguson added that he and close friend – fellow tour pro Connor Syme – did their best to make light of the abuse.
“I was reading the messages out to Connor as they were coming in and he couldn’t believe it,” he said. “You just have to laugh it off. I mean, it doesn’t affect you. It doesn’t make you feel that bad. It was more that, in the back of my head, I was thinking how good it would be, one day, to prove them wrong.
"Sure enough, I had all the gamblers message me [after Qatar] – I’m not sure if it was the same ones – saying ‘thanks for winning me this money’ and I’m like, oh, they’re all my mates now!”
Ferguson's win catapulted him to 11th on the DP World Race To Dubai and saw him climb 144 places on the Official World Golf Ranking to 167th.