03 Aug 2020 | Professional golf |

Ruffels suffers heartbreaker

by Martin Blake

Ryan Ruffels Korn Ferry August image
Ryan Ruffels could not close out the Pinnacle Championship. Photo: Getty

Ryan Ruffels has suffered the most heartbreaking loss of his short career at the Korn Ferry Tour's Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha.

Leading by two shots entering the final round and still ahead of the pack with three holes to play today, Ruffels bogeyed both the 16th and 17th holes to lose by a single shot.

His quest for a maiden win as a professional continues.

Victorian Ruffels, 22, had an up-and-down day at The Club at Indian Creek ultimately shooting a two-over par 73 that was not quite enough to finish what he started with rounds of 66-70-65 on the opening three days.

American player Seth Reeves came from the clouds with a closing 64 to win by a shot at 11-under par.

Reeves posted his total and waited as Ruffels first eagled the par-five seventh hole to seize control of the event, then gave back shots on the eighth, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th to hand the title back.

At the par-four 18th, with Ruffels needing birdie to force a playoff, his approach found the green but his long birdie putt missed and he tapped in for par.

The Australian finished in a five-way tie for second, his best result in his first full season on the secondary American tour, but still a kick in the guts in its manner of unfolding. A former national junior champion and world junior title-winner, he turned professional early, spent time playing on the PGA Latino Tour, and almost completely lost his game in 2018 before a recent resurgence.

Ruffels is projected to jump 24 spots, from 54th to 30th, in the tour points standings as the season winds down.

Theoretically the top 25 are given PGA Tour cards for next season, but this remains unclear because of the Covid-19 interruptions to the season which have led the tour to say that no main tour player will lose his card.

Meanwhile JASON DAY logged a fourth consecutive round in the 60s to finish tied-sixth in the World Golf Championship St Jude Invitational in Memphis. Day was four shots behind the winner, American Justin Thomas.

Korn Ferry leaderboard

PGA Tour leaderboard

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