Prominent area golfer Jim Ferguson died Saturday after his round in the Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association's Senior Championship at Oldfield Golf Club. He was 58.
According to HHIAGA director Bob Collar, Ferguson, a longtime Hilton Head Island real estate executive, packed his clubs in his car and left the clubhouse but was found slumped over the wheel less than a mile away.
"He was in his car heading out of the plantation," Collar said. "He didn't get out of the plantation."
Collar said a resident called 911 and EMS attended to Ferguson for roughly 20 minutes before transporting him to Coastal Carolina Hospital. Collar later confirmed by phone that Ferguson had died.
Ferguson was a two-time Hilton Head Island Amateur champion, the 2010 HHIAGA Match-Play Champion and played in the USGA U.S. Senior Open in 2010. Collar said he played in every tournament the HHIAGA held.
"Everybody is just in shock," Collar said.
Collar said the tournament will continue Sunday "in remembrance of him and to honor him."
"At 11 o'clock, everybody will be on the course," Collar said, "and we'll blow the fog horn and everyone will stop where they're at, take a moment of silence to remember Jim, and then play will resume."
The golfers will be given black ribbons to wear in his honor for Sunday's final round.
The apex of Ferguson's golf career came almost three years ago.
Ferguson qualified in June 2010 at Callawassie Island Club for that year's U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
The then-56-year-old was surprised when his 1-under-par 71 was good enough. He finished his round early and was back at work when the results were official.
"I'm just in shock that 1-under held up," Ferguson said at the time in a phone interview. "I was prepared to go back for a playoff if necessary."
At the Open, Ferguson shot 90-88--178 and missed the cut, finishing last in the field.
Ferguson is survived by two adult sons, Ben and Tim, and a 13-year-old daughter, Megan.