In only his second start on the DP World Tour this season, Thomas Aiken managed to get a top-20 finish on Sunday with a closing two-under-par 68 in the ISPA Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle.
Aiken had a share of 99th at the rain-shortened Joburg Open last November, and his best finish on the tour before that was a share of 24th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October 2021.
But with three rounds under par, and just an unsteady four-over 74 spoiling his week somewhat, the eight-time Sunshine Tour winner would have been pleased with what seems like a ‘baby streps’ approach to a return to the DP World Tour.
He made six birdies and four bogeys in his final round to reach three-under for the tournament and a share of 20th. That was nine strokes behind the winner, Ewen Ferguson of Scotland, who led from the start. Ferguson carded a closing one-under 69 to win by three from good friend Connor Syme and Borja Virto of Spain.
Behind Aiken, Wilco Nienaber closed with a one-under 69 to be two-under for the tournament in a share of 23rd.