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Ewen Ferguson laughs as he recalls putting from the bunker, not once, but twice, at the Porsche European Open.
“It was the first time I’d ever tried it,” the Scot tells bunkered. “I thought, ‘F*** it!’”
Ferguson’s unconventional approach at the Green Eagles North Course in Hamburg went viral earlier this month as he opted for the method usually only considered by forlorn amateurs desperate to escape the sand.
The two-time DP World Tour winner had the intuition, and perhaps bravery, to pull out the flatstick from the greenside bunkers after realising before the tournament that they allowed for such ingenuity.
Unusually firm, compact sand combined with incredibly shallow lips made Ferguson’s mind up for him. There was no sense of trepidation in attempting the extraordinary.
“The bunkers were so weird that week, there was no lip on them and they were rock hard so you had to hit with loads of speed and zip it,” he said. “My caddie was scared but I thought I might as well give it a go.”
Ferguson had water in his peripheral vision when his tee shot found the bunker on the par-3 eighth hole during the opening round on Thursday – so he concluded that putter was the safer play.
He rolled the ball smoothly up the bunker lip, but missed his six-footer and carded bogey during his two-under-par first round 71.
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) June 2, 2023
There was, however, enough motivation to opt for the putter once again when negotiating the sand in round two, with no fear of embarrassment whatsoever in leaving his ball in the trap.
And on Friday he went one better, sinking his aggressive stroke from the greenside trap to record a sensational birdie two on the par-3 14th, this time with water directly in his eye-line.
“I just thought ‘I might as well putt that up,” he said. “I went for it and a couple of them paid off so it was good fun.
“When you’re out here you need to just take things on and go for it sometimes. I think I’m good at being carefree and change my game plan up. Sometimes it works out, sometimes you look like an idiot!”
Ferguson will not be giving his caddie another fright at the British Masters here at The Belfry this week, with the putter rooted in the bag when he finds the more penal bunkers on the famous Brabazon course.
But the free-spirited Scot’s mindset means he will not be too concerned if his new unorthodox approach backfires in the future.
“There’s so much more to life than golf,” he says. “I just want to play well and have fun.”
The Betfred British Masters, hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, gets underway at The Belfry on Thursday. You can read our full preview here.
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