After making the cut with nothing to spare at the Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines, the former European Open champion charged all the way from joint 45th into a three shot lead after playing his last 11 holes in a dazzling nine under.
It knocked no fewer than four strokes off his previous best Tour round and he became the 14th player to fall just one shy of the magical 59. Darren Clarke has done it twice.
The 32 year old, who was in danger of losing his European Tour card until the final event of last year, had to wait to see where he was placed with a round to go, though, as halfway leaders Maarten Lafeber, Jeppe Huldahl and Rikard Karlberg had not even teed off as he finished.
Only one under for the first seven holes, Ferrie birdied the next three, eagled the long 12th and then picked up further shots at the 14th, 15th and 17th.
That left him needing to hole his approach to the 449 yard last for the first-ever 59, but a birdie on one of the toughest holes on the par 70 Parador course was enough to keep a big smile on his face.
Ferrie was 11 under par and after only three top ten finishes since the start of 2007 he was in the hunt for a third European Tour title.
Ferrie said: "It was unspectacular, but spectacular at the same time.
"You'd expect somebody with such a low score to have holed putts and hit spectacular shots, but it was just a very steady round - lots of fairways, lots of greens and a lot of wedge shots to four or five feet which I managed to knock in.
"Some days you shoot 70 and you are doing cartwheels and are over the moon, but I don't feel I did anything above and beyond.
"I realised that if I finished birdie-birdie-birdie it would have been 59, but 16 and 18 are strong holes and if you get out of position on them you are going to struggle to make pars.
"My six iron at the last looked very good, but I would gladly have taken 60 with three to play."