Ewan Ferguson significantly reduced his chances of winning the Open de France from the start on Sunday after putting into the water on the first hole of his final round.
The Scottish player was tied at the top with England’s Jordan Smith on 13-under before the final pairing teed off at Le Golf National. Yet, a stunning error from Ferguson put a severe dent in his title tilt.
"Unbelievable" 😱Le Golf National is no easy track as co-leader @EwboF drops two shots! #CazooOpenDeFrance pic.twitter.com/PoPQWqX6snSeptember 24, 2023
After finding the rough on the right side of the 419-yard par-four opener, Ferguson recovered to send his approach shot into the fringe on the high side of the green.
With a lengthy putt between him and the hole - and water lurking menacingly behind - the 27-year-old pushed his ball firmly down the hill and a few feet past the pin before it trickled meekly through the fringe protecting the water and into the drink.
Ferguson failed to find the bottom of the cup with his fifth shot and was forced to make do with a double-bogey six to open up his round, while early leader Smith posted a confidence-inducing birdie.
It was the same story for both players on the next hole too, as the Englishman recorded another birdie while Ferguson found the water with his tee shot and ended up with a five.
The 27-year-old is certainly not the first to suffer that kind of misfortune with the flat stick, though, as several fellow professionals have done the same over the years.
World No.1 Scottie Scheffler eventually beat Ryder Cup legend, Ian Poulter 2&1 at the 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but not before putting his ball into the soup on the par-five 12th via a heavy-handed putt.
Maverick McNealy putted into the water at the 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Patrick Cantlay did the same at this year’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, and Bernd Wiesberger made his ball wet from a seemingly safe position at The Masters in 2021.
In a game that can often seem mind-numbingly frustrating to most amateurs, it does at least provide a degree of comfort when you see a professional making a mess of a relatively straightforward situation.
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Jonny Leighfield is our Staff Writer, joining Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and has since spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. The self-proclaimed ‘worst golfer in the office’ still enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.
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