It was a sensational week from start to finish. The stars aligned, the sun split the skies and the downpours stayed away just in time to crown our 2022 champions.
Yes, it’s fair to say the 2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics was the great success. The $3m tri-sanctioned event between the DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour delivered and then some.
In the men’s draw we had a wire-to-wire winner in Ewen Ferguson (26), who played with a smile on his face all week. From cracking jokes and booming drives with Niall Horan and Robbie Keane in the curtain-raiser Pro-am to shooting a course record 61 in the opening round, the Scot was on top of his game. The fact he got over the line on the final day playing alongside his best mate and compatriot Connor Syme was the icing on the cake of this particular story of a rising star who recorded his second DP World Tour win of the season.
Not to be outdone, the bubbly and courageous persona that is Maja Stark (22) stared them all down on the final day to record an emphatic win at Galgorm. The Swede, who had the vastly experienced Sophie Gustafson on the bag, stormed to a five shot victory with a course record of her own on the the final day, a flawless 10-under-par 63. It was Stark’s third LET win and first LPGA victory, and a win that gives her the keys to compete on the lucrative US circuit.
It was a week to remember in every way. Galgorm Touring Professional Tom McKibbin flew the home flag with his top 10 finish (-6) and tournament figurehead Leona Maguire rallied on the final day like the champion she is to also record a top 10 finish (-10) despite not having her A-game all week.
One of golf’s most innovative events wrote another memorable chapter at Massereene and Galgorm in 2022. The newly crowned champions and their peers produced golf of the highest order all week.