13 May 2024 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Top-five finishes for Day, Ruffels

by Tony Webeck

Gabi Ruffels and Jason Day were top five
With majors just around the corner, Gabi Ruffels and Jason Day are both finding form. Credits: Elsa/Getty Images (Ruffels), Andrew Redington/Getty Images (Day)

Jason Day has declared his “game is trending” ahead of this week’s US PGA Championship as Gabi Ruffels logged her best finish yet on the LPGA Tour.

Both Day and Ruffels finished inside the top five respectively on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour yet both were distant from the winning score.

Day closed out his Wells Fargo Championship campaign with a 1-under 70 to finish 11 shots back of Rory McIlroy (65) in a tie for fourth while Ruffels was part of one of the most unusual leaderboards ever seen at the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Obviously pleased with a career-best third place finish, at 9-under par Ruffels (71) was 13 shots behind runner-up Madelene Sagstrom (69) who finished two shots back of Rose Zhang (66) at 24-under par.

“Kind of an up-and-down week,” was Ruffels’ summation after a round in which she had five birdies and four bogeys.

“That golf course is kind of like that. Other than Rose and Madelene, everyone was kind of under 10-under.

“There were a lot of bogeys out there and a lot of birdies as well. Just had to hang tough mentally, and I was proud of myself that I did that.”

With the US Women’s Open just two weeks away, Ruffels said it was a strong week in combining her play with her mental game.

“A few things with my swing that I'm working on, I feel like I'm making strides with that with my coach,” she added.

“Just mentally on a golf course like this, just trying to hang tough and just seeing where at that puts you.”

A decade after finishing tied for 15th at the 2014 US PGA Championship, Day will return to Valhalla Golf Club buoyed by his most recent showing.

A tie for fourth is his best finish since the Genesis Invitational in mid-February as he and coach Chris Como work to bring his ball-striking up to major championship level.

“I've had a run over the last month-and-a-half, two months where it's just been kind of poor,” said Day.

“I've been losing a ton of strokes to the field approach to green. Not necessarily on the driver, for instance.

“It's weird, it's kind of strange to drive it decently well and to hit it poor coming into the greens. But I feel like some of the stuff we're working on, I'll see little snippets of really good stuff.”

It was a week of celebration for our Kiwi compatriots with Michael Hendry earning his first Japan Golf Tour title in nine years and Ryan Fox securing the first top-five finish of his career on the PGA TOUR.

Just 13 months after being hospitalised with leukaemia, Hendry completed one of golf’s most inspirational comebacks with a one-point win in the modified Stableford format of the For The Players By The Players tournament in Japan.

In his first season as a member of the PGA TOUR, Fox had four birdies in his final six holes to climb into a tie for fourth at the Myrtle Beach Classic in South Carolina.

Photos: Andrew Redington/Getty Images (Day); Elsa/Getty Images (Ruffels)


PGA TOUR Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina 1 Rory McIlroy 67-68-67-65—267 $US3.6m T4 Jason Day 68-67-73-70—278 $880,000 T29 Adam Scott 71-71-73-71—286 $130,500 T38 Cam Davis 70-69-72-77—288 $88,500

Myrtle Beach Classic The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 1 Chris Gotterup 66-64-65-67—262 $US720,000 T4 Ryan Fox (NZ) 70-66-66-67—269 $147,000 MC Aaron Baddeley 71-70—141 MC Harrison Endycott 66-75—141

LPGA Tour Cognizant Founders Cup Upper Montclair Country Club, Clifton, New Jersey 1 Rose Zhang 63-68-67-66—264 $US450,000 3 Gabriela Ruffels 69-72-67-71—279 $201,479 T7 Minjee Lee 70-70-72-69—281 $69,492 T18 Hannah Green 69-71-72-71—283 $33,801 T18 Stephanie Kyriacou 66-79-66-72—283 $33,801 T35 Sarah Kemp 69-72-74-71—286 $15,966 T35 Lydia Ko (NZ) 69-71-75-71—286 $15,966 T46 Grace Kim 68-74-75-70—287 $11,784 MC Robyn Choi 72-75—147 MC Karis Davidson 78-71—149 MC Hira Naveed 75-78—153

Japan Golf Tour For The Players By The Players THE CLUB Golf Village, Gunma Modified Stableford format 1 Michael Hendry 14-5-13-6—38¥10m T48 Brad Kennedy 3-6-2-3—14 ¥141,500 MC Anthony Quayle 6-(-3)— - 3

PGA TOUR Champions Regions Tradition Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Alabama 1 Doug Barron 65-72-66-68—271 $390,000 2 Steven Alker (NZ) 69-71-70-63—273 $228,800 T11 Stuart Appleby 71-67-71-70—279 $59,800 T14 Richard Green 73-69-73-66—281 $45,500 T18 Mark Hensby 74-67-70-71—282 $35,555 T37 Rod Pampling 68-76-75-67—286 $14,560 T50 Michael Campbell (NZ)70-75-75-70—290 $7,800 T52 John Senden 72-76-75-68—291 $6,292 T67 Steve Allan 69-84-69-73—295 $2,548

Ladies European Tour Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF - Korea New Korea Country Club, Korea 1 Hyo-Joo Kim 68-70-68—206$US69,714.75 T27 Momoka Kobori (NZ) 76-71-74—221$4,587.23 T45 Kirsten Rudgeley 75-74-75—224$2,378.05

Korean PGA KPGA Classic Golf Zone County Yeongam 45 Modified Stableford format 1 Chanwoo Kim 15-8-2-8—33 KRW140,618,722 T7 Kevin Chun (NZ) 9-13-(-5)-11—28 KRW19,124,146 T13 Sungjin Yeo 8-5-1-11—25 KRW13,499,397 T35 Wonjoon Lee 12-6-(-6)-4—16 4,077,942 MC Junseok Lee 5-4—9

Epson Tour Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic TPC Scottsdale (Champions Cse), Scottsdale, Arizona 1 Ruixin Liu 64-72-70-64—270 $US60,000 T17 Su Oh 68-70-72-69—279 $5,302 T21 Fiona Xu (NZ) 70-69-70-71—280 $4,534 T26 Cassie Porter 67-73-75-66—281 $3,737 MC Amelia Garvey (NZ) 76-69—145

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