Aussies on Tour: Ruffels, Micheluzzi flirt with firsts - PGA of Australia

Aussies on Tour: Ruffels, Micheluzzi flirt with firsts

Rising stars Gabi Ruffels and David Micheluzzi both got a glimpse of breakthrough wins on major tours before coming up just short.

Ruffels had a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to join the playoff at the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship on the LPGA Tour while Micheluzzi led early on the back nine on Sunday at the DP World Tour’s Porsche Singapore Classic.

In danger of missing the cut late on Friday, Ruffels surged into contention with a third round of 6-under 65, putting her just two shots off the lead heading into Round 4.

When eventual champion Nelly Korda made eagle at the par-5 14th Ruffels trailed by five, clawing her way back within three with birdies at 15 and 16.

With Korda playing in the group ahead, Ruffels was unaware that the American had dropped shots at both 17 and 18.

That gave the Aussie the simple equation of needing to make birdie at the final hole to match Korda and Ryann O’Toole’s total of 9-under par.

The 23-year-old had a good look from around 20 feet but her putt came up just short and left, her tie for third her best LPGA Tour result and a taste of what it takes to win at the highest level.

“Standing over the putt, I did realise that was to get into a playoff,” Ruffels revealed post-round.

“It’s cool. It’s really cool to be in that situation.

“Unfortunately didn’t make the putt, but thought I hit a pretty good putt.

“Not a great start to the year I guess in Bradenton, but worked hard these past couple weeks and I really feel like my game is in a good place.

“Just goes to show this week and excited for the next couple weeks.”

It was a matter of ‘what if’ too for Micheluzzi in Singapore.

A one-stroke leader through 54 holes, Micheluzzi maintained his advantage as he began the back nine at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

After a par at 10, the Victorian suffered a stroke of misfortune when he was forced to play out sideways from a bunker at the par-3 11th that led to a double-bogey.

He lost his tee shot right at the par-4 12th on his way to a second double-bogey, climbing back into a tie for seventh with birdies at 16 and 18 for his best finish in a DP World Tour event.

Veteran Aaron Baddeley had a one-stroke lead early in Round 2 of the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship, bouncing back from a 74 in Round 3 with a 2-under 69 to finish tied 17th.

Photos: Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images (Ruffels), Jason Butler/Getty Images (Micheluzzi)


Valspar Championship
Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Cse), Palm Harbor, Florida
1          Peter Malnati                66-71-68-67—272       $US1.512m
T17      Aaron Baddeley           67-70-74-69—280       $104,020
MC       Ryan Fox (NZ)               76-69—145
MC       Harrison Endycott        75-73—148
MC       Min Woo Lee                74-75—149

DP World Tour
Porsche Singapore Classic
Laguna National Golf Resort Club, Singapore
1          Jesper Svensson           68-73-67-63—271       €392,403.78
T7        David Micheluzzi          67-70-66-73—276       €56,206.07
T29      Jason Scrivener            74-68-68-70—280       €19,504.78
MC       Deyen Lawson             70-74—144
MC       John Lyras                    71-73—144
MC       Tom Power Horan        73-71—144
MC       Andrew Martin             74-74—148
MC       Daniel Hillier                72-74—146
MC       Michael Hendry           80-73—153

Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship
Palos Verdes Golf Club, Palos Verdes Estates, California
1          Nelly Korda                  72-67-67-69—275       $US300,000
T3        Gabriela Ruffels           72-69-65-70—276       $120,026
T27      Karis Davidson             73-69-71-70—283       $15,179
MC       Hira Naveed                 70-74—144
MC       Hannah Green              73-72—145
MC       Sarah Kemp                 74-74—148
MC       Stephanie Kyriacou      75-74—149
MC       Grace Kim                    73-76—149
MC       Robyn Choi                  73-77—150

PGA TOUR Americas
Bupa Championship at Tulum
PGA Riviera Maya, Tulum, Mexico
1          Clay Feagler                 69-70-74-71—284
T63      Charlie Hillier (NZ)        69-75-80-76—300
MC       Harry Hillier (NZ)          74-76—150
MC       Jason Hong                 78-80—158

Challenge Tour
Kolkata Challenge
Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata, India
1          Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen    68-65-68-71—272       €44,318.54
T38      Hayden Hopewell                    70-71-74-71—286       €1,689.64
MC       Connor McKinney                    76-69—145

Epson Tour
Atlantic Beach Classic
Atlantic Beach Country Club, Atlantic Beach, Florida
1          Briana Chacon              67-70-69—206 $US45,000
11        Fiona Xu (NZ)               68-70-72—210 $6,091
T55      Amelia Garvey (NZ)      68-74-78—220 $1,149
MC       Cassie Porter                73-74—147
MC       Su Oh                          76-77—153

Champions Tour
Hoag Classic
Newport Beach CC, Newport Beach, California
1          Padraig Harrington      63-67-69—199 $US300,000
T9        David Bransdon           67-69-70—206 $54,000
T15      Steve Allan                   71-69-68—208 $26,383
T15      Steven Alker (NZ)         72-67-69—208 $26,383
T27      Richard Green              70-68-71—209 $16,233
T33      Greg Chalmers             72-68-70—210 $12,600
T33      Rod Pampling              68-71-71—210 $12,600
T57      Michael Wright            69-75-72—216 $3,800
T62      Stuart Appleby             76-70-70—216 $2,900
75        John Senden                72-75-78—225 $1,240
WD      Mark Hensby               69-69—138

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