02 Aug 2020 | Professional golf |
Ruffels on verge of a groundbreaker
by Martin Blake
Australia’s Ryan Ruffels has his first professional win on the radar, and he will take a two-shot lead into tomorrow’s final round of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha.
Melburnian Ruffels shot a brilliant six-under par 65 in the third round with four birdies and an eagle to seize the lead, having started out tied-fourth.
After a birdie on the par-four first, Ruffels carded his second eagle of the week at the par-five fourth to move to 9-under. The 22-year-old added birdies on Nos. seven and nine to reach five-under on the round and 11-under for the tournament.
On the back nine, Ruffels tallied one birdie and eight pars to reach 12-under for the week and earn a two-stroke lead heading into Sunday.
“It was solid, it played a little easier today and I was able to take advantage,” Ruffels said. “I’ve been putting it quite nice and my iron play has been pretty good. The last couple of days, the driving hasn’t been as good as I would’ve liked. I’m playing the course smart and doing what I need to do.”
Ruffels earned Korn Ferry Tour status after a T21 finish at the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament’s final stage last December. In his rookie season, the Australian has made nine cuts in 12 starts and entered the week ranked 54th on the tour points list.
The top 25 theoretically are given PGA Tour cards, although this is still not clear because of the Covid-19 interruptions which have left the tour management saying that no one on the main tour will lose their card.
“Yeah, it’s going to be fun,” Ruffels said. “It’ll be a great challenge and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s what we play for. I’m really excited to see what I can do under the pump.”
JASON DAY logged his third consecutive round in the 60s at the World Golf Championship event in Memphis to be tied-10th through three rounds.
CAMERON Percy, at 21 points, is the leading Australian in the Barracuda Championship near Reno.
On the LPGA Tour, MINJEE LEE is just three shots back from the lead in the Drive On Championship with a round to play. Lee shot a Saturday to 73 to be two-under, well in the mix in the tournament that marks the tour’s resumption.
JASON SCRIVENER (24th) is the top Aussie through three rounds of the English Open on the European Tour.
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