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Ferguson shoots 61, breaking scoring record at Galgorm Castle, Doherty leads the women

A golfer in Northern Ireland has shot a course record on Galgorm Castle. Ewen Ferguson, of Scotland, is among the current leaders of the ISPS Handa World Invitational taking place at the English club

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Northern Ireland (AP) — BALLYMENA Ewen Ferguson, a golfer from Scotland, shot a 9-under 61 on Thursday to set a new course record at Galgorm Castle Golf Club and take a four-shot lead after the first round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational.

At Galgorm Castle, one of two courses used for the event where men’s and women’s tournaments are played concurrently, Ferguson chipped in for eagle on the 10th and 18th and added five birdies in his flawless opening day.

Five under par was achieved by three players: Borja Virto of Spain, Felix Palson of Sweden, and Richard Bland of England.

Only Bland, ranked No. 77 in the world, is among the field’s top 100 players. Since the first LIV Golf tournament in June, he has been a consistent participant.

Ferguson shot a 59 to set a new course record, which he called “pretty nice.”

Tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Men and women compete in separate tournaments, with $1.5 million in total prize money.

After the first round of each tournament, the top 60 players and ties will advance to the second round at Massereene Golf Club and the top 35 players and ties will advance after 54 holes at Galgorm Castle.

At Galgorm Castle, American Amanda Doherty was in the lead of the women’s tournament after shooting a 6-under 67 that included seven birdies and one bogey.

Doherty, who is 24 years old, finished first by a single shot over three other competitors, including Leona Maguire of Ireland and Georgia Hall of England. After their rounds at Massereene, Americans Lauren Coughlin and Emily Kristine Pedersen were also a shot back.

Doherty explained that all she was focusing on that day was living in the now. I think I started the day off in that frame of mind. Despite the wait, I did not leave. It’s a cliche, I know, but it does the trick. I had a good swing and was driving the ball well. It all just kind of came together; I made a couple good putts, and a few of the par-5s were within striking distance.

Maguire, at No. 17 in the women’s world rankings, is the highest ranked player competing.

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