Dublin, OH — Ryan Ruffels knew that he needed to shoot a low number in Sunday’s final round at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide but was unable to hold up his end of the bargain.
This was the last tournament that the non-exempt Ruffels had an opportunity to earn his PGA TOUR card.
The opportunity was there for the taking as Ruffels who was at -8 under par for the tournament needed to place in the top-10, but a 1-over par 73 ended his chances at the PGA TOUR card.
“It was a really good week and I felt I played a lot better than I scored,” Ruffels said. “I really didn’t get a lot out of any of the rounds. It’s a tough golf course and I was able to play some solid golf so that’s what I am happy with.”
The round had potential to move him up the leaderboard as he had three birdies but two bogeys on each nine harmed his score.
“Every time I got some momentum I got pretty unlucky,” said Ruffels. “I got a few plugged lies in the bunker and a couple divots in the fairway. It just felt like any time I made a birdie and gave myself a chance, something would go off that would just kill it. I don’t think I did a bad job at all today, I just think the breaks didn’t go my way.”
Ruffels hit 12 of 14 fairways in his round and 12 of 18 greens.
He may best be known for an incident made public at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January.
Ruffels told an Australian paper about gambling game he played in December with Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson went on to call Ruffels’s story in which he claimed to have won $5,000 as “high school stuff”.
Ruffels who admitted Mickelson’s quotes were distracting, did make the cut that weekend, his first start in an attempt to earn his tour card and tied for 43rd.
As a non-exempt player, Ruffels had a limited amount of starts with which he could earn his PGA TOUR card and three of those, he missed the cut, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Ruffels had a best finish of T20 at his most recent start, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Now his career is taking a step backwards as he did not reach his goal of making the PGA TOUR on full-time status.
“I don’t know what position I’ll finish, hopefully pretty close to that number for the Web.com playoffs,” Ruffels said. “I don’t know where it will leave me. I’ll Monday qualify for a few events towards the end of the season to try and get into some more events and get the money up. I’ll probably play a few Web.com events as well, we’ll just see where I end up after the tournament.”
Ruffels stated he was the first alternate at US Open Sectional Qualifying at Wedgewood Golf & County Club and Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club, however he is having a 7:00 tee time putting him in the first tee time Monday morning at Wedgewood.
Currently, 103 players were listed in the qualifier with an unknown amount of spots for the US Open open and available.