Chip-ins and course record give Ferguson World Invitational lead

Ferguson chipped in for eagle on the 10th and 18th and added five birdies in his flawless Thursday round at Galgorm Castle, one of two courses used for the event that features men’s and women’s tournaments taking place simultaneously.

Richard Bland of England, Felix Palson of Sweden and Spain’s Borja Virto were all five-under-par.

Bland at No.77 is the only player from the top-100 in the world ranking in the field. He has been playing LIV Golf events since the start in June.

Ferguson broke the previous course record by one shot, describing it as a “pretty nice” feat.

The tournament is tri-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour. The men and women play from different tees and compete separately, with two equal prize funds of US$1.5 million each ($A2.1 million).

Players will complete 18 holes at Galgorm Castle and 18 at Massereene Golf Club before a halfway cut – to the top-60 and ties – is made in each tournament, with a further cut after 54 holes to the top-35 players and ties.

The best placed Australian, Dimitrios Papadatos, is two-under and tied for 23rd.

He is two ahead of compatriot Zac Murray, who is tied 45th.

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