31 Jul 2020 | Professional golf |

Ruffels on top in Omaha

by Martin Blake

Ryan Ruffels Korn Ferry image
Ryan Ruffels started hot with a 66 in Omaha. Photo: Getty

Australia’s Ryan Ruffels played near-flawless golf to take a share of the lead in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Nebraska today.

Melburnian Ruffels, 22, is still seeking his first win as a professional.

The former world junior champion and national boys’ champion has had a solid year on the secondary tour, having graduated from the PGA Tour Latino America this year.

He has made eight cuts in 11 previous events, with a best of tied-11th in the Bahamas in January.

Today he shot an opening 66 with three birdies and an eagle at the par-five fourth hole. He did not make a single bogey.

Ruffels’ five-under total is tied for the lead with a cluster of other players.

The Victorian is currently 54th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list, with the top 25 theoretically earning graduation to the US PGA Tour for 2020-21, depending what the tour decides at the end of a Coronavirus-interrupted season.

He has previously played a string of main tour events on invitation but his game disappeared in 2018 before a resurgence last year.

Meanwhile Jason Day’s first appearance since he parted ways with longtime coach Col Swatton saw him as the top Australian in the World Golf Championships-St Jude Invitational in Memphis today.

Day shot an opening 68, two-under par, to be just inside the top 20, six shots behind the leader, American Brooks Koepka.

Marc Leishman (70), Matt Jones (71) and Lucas Herbert (71) also started tidily.

Cameron Percy made six birdies on the opening day to be the most prominent of a bunch of Aussies playing in the Barracuda Championship in Reno. Percy secured 10 points in the modified stableford event to be tied-seventh. Sydney’s Cameron Davis (eight points) also is in the mix.

At the European Tour’s Hero Open, Jason Scrivener (69) was the only Australian to break par.

St Jude Invitational leaderboard

Barracuda Championship leaderboard

Korn Ferry leaderboard

Hero Open leaderboard

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