The European Challenge Tour is a proven breeding ground for the next generation of golfing superstars, with 202 former players having triumphed on the DP World Tour and one of them, Ewen Ferguson, has taken to life on the top tier with consummate ease.
The Scotsman, 26, arrived on the Challenge Tour around the same time as friends and countrymen Grant Forrest and Robert MacIntyre but, while that particular duo soon rose through the ranks, it took Ferguson slightly longer to cut his teeth and make the step up to the top tier.
Ferguson finished eighth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2021, with three runner-up finishes, one third place and two more top tens to his name in a season of supreme consistency. What was missing, however, was that elusive first professional victory.
DP World Tour success has not always been immediate for Challenge Tour graduates, but Ferguson wasted no time in announcing himself on the global stage. He headed into the fourth round of the Magical Kenya Open with one hand on the trophy, but after letting it slip at the final hurdle, he was left with that familiar feeling of a near-miss.
Three weeks later, however, he banished the painful memories of Nairobi by producing a fine finish at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters to claim his maiden title and prove the doubters wrong.
The 2014 Scottish Boys Champion proved he was not a one-hit wonder five months later, when he triumphed in the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics before finishing second at Made in Himmerland a fortnight later.
With only two events of the season to go, Ferguson stands on the cusp of the top ten on the DP World Tour Rankings presented by Rolex and is living proof that progressing through the Road to Mallorca, and the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final, is the perfect preparation for the big time.