Ewen Ferguson shot a final-round 69 to win the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.
The Scotsman started the week by firing a course-record 61 and although things got tight at the business end on Sunday, he held in his nerve to win the event – tri-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour – with a 12-under total and three-shot margin.
In the women’s competition, Sweden’s Maja Stark finished top of the pile after a sizzling display in her flawless, birdie-packed final round.
The separate tournaments on the same two courses – Galgorm and Massareene – held equal prize funds of $1.5-million each with $250,000 for each winner.
Ferguson, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters winner earlier this year, led by three overnight and stretched his advantage with a birdie at the driveable par-four 2nd.
He gave the shot straight back at the 3rd after finding a fairway bunker with his tee shot and Richard Mansell moved to within two thanks to three birdies in his first seven holes.
Ferguson hit back straight away, knocking his approach at the 4th to three feet and sinking the putt for birdie only for Mansell to keep the foot down with a birdie at the 8th.
The Englishman got to within one when he birdied the par-five 10th despite finding the rough left of the green with his second, while Renato Paratore, who started at the 10th, charged up the leaderboard.
Ferguson came back to Mansell’s mark of 11 under when his wayward drive at the 9th left him no way of reaching the green and the pair were just two ahead of Paratore. Spaniard Borja Virto was also in contention at 10 under and Connor Syme was lurking.
Ferguson took back the lead by nailing a nine-feet putt for a birdie at the 10th and he was four better off than Paratore, who set the clubhouse lead at eight under after signing for a 64.
A birdie at 13, his fourth in five holes, took Virto to within a shot and he was the closest challenger after Mansell’s tee shot at 15 found the hazard and he gave one back.
But the Spaniard’s charge was halted at just the wrong time, a bad miss from the tee at the par-three 14th led to a bogey and Ferguson’s cushion was two shots again.
Ferguson parred every hole after his birdie at 10 and it was enough for a three-shot victory with Virto and Syme joint second.
South Africa’s Thomas Aiken finished on three under (T20) with countryman Wilco Nienaber a further shot behind (T23).
– Edited DP World Tour website report