• Second title in as many weeks for the 18-year-old
• Defending champion Craig Watson finishes T12
EWEN FERGUSON | CRAIGMILLAR PARK OPEN
Ewen Ferguson joined the likes of Sir Nick Faldo, Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson as winners of the Craigmillar Park Open after defeating SGU national squad team-mate Connor Syme in a nail-biting play-off.
The 18-year-old, who plays his golf at Bearsden GC, shot four-under including a joint lowest round of 66 in the 72-hole tournament, to earn a play-off against Syme (Drumoig) before defeating him with a birdie at the third play-off hole.
The win at the Edinburgh course was his second in as many weeks after a victory at the Scottish Champion of Champions at Leven GS, with this coming in the opening SGU Men’s Order of Merit event of the season.
In testing conditions, Ferguson and Syme were two of only three players to shoot under par, with Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) the other, finishing third on one-under.
"It was tough to beat one of my best friends in Connor in the play-off" - Ewen Ferguson
“It was mentally and physically draining out there. I’m so happy to get the job done and kept my head high when things weren’t going my way," Ewen Ferguson said.
“It was tough to beat one of my best friends in Connor in the play-off but I owed him one after he turned me over in the South African Amateur a year ago.”
After a fantastic week of weather in the lead up to the competition, it was typical that by the weekend the golfers had to endure a bit of everything, with tournament director Bill Richardson admitting that it's just one of those things when hosting the Craigmillar Park Open in April.
He said: “Being April, we’re always in the hands of the weather gods. Saturday was windy with gusts of up to 25 miles per hour which was affecting play, but we managed to get the two rounds played.
“And the guys are brilliant. They’re a great crowd of golfers who just get on with it. Of course you get a few comments about pin positions being in better places because of the wind but that's to be expected.
“On Sunday, it rained steadily until 12pm but it wasn’t heavy rain, just that messy drizzle that gets everywhere. But the sun came out in the afternoon which was good although it was still a little bit breezy.”
"Ewen hit a superb shot from the semi-rough to about 15ft which he holed to win it and understandably he was overjoyed" - Bill Richardson
And Richardson, who has now retired from his role after more than 25 years of involvement with the tournament, believes Ferguson's win was the first in his memory that has been decided as far as the third play-off hole.
He said: “The 66 Ewen shot on Sunday morning put him right up there and in the play-off, Connor missed a 4ft putt to win on the first hole which horseshoed. You could see he was devastated but he got over it very well.
“It was then to the 18th, the second play-off hole which runs parallel to the first, and both hit shots to about 10-12ft which they both missed so it was back to the first, where Ewen hit a superb shot from the semi-rough to about 15ft which he holed to win it and understandably he was overjoyed.
“Not in my recollection has the tournament ever gone as far as the third play-off hole. It went to the first extra play-off hole in 1990 and two years ago when Craig Howie won it went to the second hole. But as far as I’m aware, it’s the first time it’s ever gone this far."
Craigmillar Park GC :: Discounted rounds this week
Craigmillar Park Golf Club is offering golfers a round of golf, bacon roll and tea/coffee for only £12 from Monday, April 13, to Sunday, April 19. For more information visit the Craigmillar Park Open website or call 0131 667 0047.