Date: June 12, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Valley of Sin claims Ferguson

There are many ways to come undone in golf, but Australian Ben Ferguson found a common one to end his St Andrews Links Trophy dream.

The Perth youngster had made a spectacular late charge on the Old Course to move himself back into contention with birdie on the 16th and another memorable one on the Road Hole.

And just as eventual champion Matthew Jordan, of England, three-putted the last ahead of him to close with back-to-back bogeys, suddenly Ferguson had a sniff.

Needing a birdie, though, the Vines member later said he went “too cute” on his approach shot and watched is dismay as his ball trickled into the infamous “Valley of Sin” at the front of the best-known closing hole in golf.

The resultant bogey left him to sign for a 70, two strokes behind Jordan with Ireland’s John Ross Galbraith pinching second with a birdie up the last in the final group.

It was a cruel end to a brilliant week for the West Australian state representative, who overshadowed a large bunch of his compatriots to be the top Aussie at the home of golf.

Still, rounds of 70 (at Jubilee) and then 68-71-70 at the Old Course left the soon-to-be 19-year-old justifiably proud of his achievement.

David Micheluzzi ironically closed with a birdie, but his double-bogey on the 16th consigned him to a closing 74 and a share of 18th at three under.

Fellow Victorian Zach Murray made inroads early, but bogeys on the 15th and 17th knocked him back to even par for his final round and the tournament to finish T32.