Having opened with polished rounds of 66-67-66 at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, the Scot found himself holding a four-shot lead heading into the closing circuit 12 months ago as he chased a maiden victory in his rookie season.
But, after closing with a 76, which included two dropped shots in the first three holes and a brace of double-bogeys on the back nine, he had to settle for a share of eighth spot as the spoils went instead to China’s Ashun Wu.
Ferguson said at the time that he was determined to learn some valuable lessons from that disappointment and get himself back into contention again as quickly as possible.
That opportunity came just three events later in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which he won after producing a brilliant eagle-par-birdie finish before also landing the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland in August.
“I watched it back straight away,” said Ferguson, who is excited to be back at Muthaiga this week for the latest edition of the Magical Kenya Open, as he recalled how things had unfolded for him last time around.
“I couldn’t wait to watch it back and see it all. I like watching golf in general. I’m a golf fan myself. I’m always into it, watching it. I wanted to see how Ashun played and what he did. It was a massive learning curve and I took a lot from it.”
The 26-year-old is part of a ten-strong Caledonian contingent on this occasion, having been joined in making the trip by the two other Scots to taste success on the circuit last season, Richie Ramsay and Bob MacIntyre.
Also flying the Saltire in the $2 million tournament are Grant Forrest, Connor Syme, Calum Hill, Stephen Gallacher, Sandy Scott, Craig Howie and Liam Johnston.
“Only good memories and thoughts and feelings,” insisted Ferguson, who played in the inaugural Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi in January, of being back in Kenya. “I love the golf course and, even then (a year ago), I remember thinking I couldn’t believe how quickly I’d come on as a golfer to be leading.”
Referring to the last day, he added: “I remember feeling really nervous. I was so down and out after nine holes and felt like I wanted the round to be over. But, when I watched it and looked back, I was one shot off the lead. It’s mad to think that in that moment, looking up at the leaderboard, not seeing my name in the first four names and thinking ‘oh my god’.
“I remember last year even in Denmark where I didn’t win again and things went wrong, just thought to keep myself in it, you never know what’s going to happen. Under pressure you can hit a bad shot. I learned a lot from it and had some really good results the rest of the year.”
Recent Hero Indian Open winner Marcel Siem heads a field that also includes Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, who now appears to be a former LIV Golf player, as well as defending champion Wu.