A near miss for Ryan Ruffels
For a tournament the week after the major, the RBC Canadian Open wasn’t without some intriguing storylines.
Young Aussie Ryan Ruffels was in position to become the youngest PGA TOUR winner in 86 years if he could come from three strokes back of Hoffman going into Sunday.
A birdie-free outward nine of 39 and a bogey-double bogey start to the back nine dashed the 19-year-old’s hopes pretty quickly. Perhaps his caddy reminded him there was still a lot of cash on the line for a guy spending most weeks on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Ruffels went eagle-birdie-birdie on the last three holes to rally for a 10-under tournament total. He tied for 32nd for his best finish in five starts on Tour in 2017.
He led the field in driving by over nine yards at 331.4 yards per pop. Like the Dustin Johnsons and the Jhonny Vegas’ of the world, Ruffels was hitting driver-wedge at the par-5 18th.
Well, at least he was earlier in the week. On Sunday, he and playing partner Brandon Hagy had the audacity to play over to the seventh fairway for his second shot to get a better angle over the water guarding the 18th green. It was a bold strategy, which flummoxed the PGA TOUR shot tracker to the point of saying his first shot went “325 yards to unknown”.
While Ruffels missed the green on his approach, he still came away with birdie. It’s a bomb and gouge world and we’re all just living in it.
The solid week could give him a boost to close strong and grab a Web.com Tour via a top-five finish on the Latinoamerica tour’s order of merit.
He’s No. 9 with 10 tournaments to go on the schedule. Top five earn Web cards.