Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson has won the DP World Tour’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational held at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
Ferguson, who secured a maiden victory at the Qatar Masters in March, held off the challenge of close friend Connor Syme and Spaniard Borja Virto as he carded a closing one-under-par 69 to win by three strokes.
The 26-year-old led from the front after setting a new course record of 61, nine under par, at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in the first round of the innovative event, but it was a gutsy final day performance that saw him over the line. He played the front nine level par after two birdies and two bogeys and then parred his final eight holes after his third gain of the day on the tenth to reach 12 under.
Virto was Ferguson’s nearest challenger down the stretch, but had to settle for a share of second with Syme after dropping two shots on his final five holes. Conversely, Syme birdied three of his closing four holes as he recorded his second successive runner-up finish after last week’s Cazoo Open.
Renato Paratore carded a closing 64 to share fourth, building on his T3 result at Celtic Manor last week. He was joined on eight under par by Marcus Helligkilde and Richard Mansell.
After lifting the trophy, Ferguson said: “I just can’t believe how calm I was out there today. I think I couldn’t have worked out any better playing with Connor. I felt although I played with him the first two days and he was playing so, so good, and I felt he was my main rival for the day, so managing to play with him and hold each other off and keep up with each other was so good.
“It’s been a good year, and obviously you get times where it doesn’t go so well, so I think you really need to appreciate things where you’re picking up trophies or you’re making cuts and you’re doing all right because it’s a really tough game.”
In the women’s event that ran concurrently, Sweden’s Maja Stark carded a course record 63 in the final round as she stormed to a five-stroke victory, earning her first LPGA Tour title and third win of the year. The 22-year-old finished on 20 under par, five strokes ahead of Allisen Corpuz of the United States.
After winning the tri-sanctioned event, Stark officially accepted LPGA Tour Membership and will become a rookie for the rest of 2022.
“It means the world. That was all I came here for,” she continued. “I just wanted that winner’s category. I was so nervous. I hate qualifying and going to Q-Series, it’s great that I don’t have to do that again. I’ve been dreaming about playing on the LPGA Tour for a long time. It’s just been so frustrating when you feel like maybe you could play there, but it feels like the road is so long and with Q-School – if you have a bad week you’re out, and then you have got to wait another year. It’s really nice to just skip that part and just go ahead to the fun stuff.”