Victorian Brett Coletta has continued to tap into a rich vein of form to make progress up the Korn Ferry Tour Order of Merit with his second top-five finish of the season at the Club Car Championship in Georgia.
Coletta was the best performed Aussie in a busy week of tournament golf around the world with Minjee Lee making an impressive return with a tie for fifth at the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic and Gabriela Ruffels fourth at the secondary Symetra Tour in California.
But it was Coletta who finished highest on the leaderboard and would have joined ultimate champion Adam Svensson and Max McGreevy in a playoff if not for a bogey on the par-3 17th, his tie for third resulting in a jump of 20 spots on the moneylist to 58th.
The 24-year-old had a best finish of a tie for 14th following the resumption of a season suspended due to COVID-19 last year but has returned in 2021 fully recharged and ready to take advantage of a game he can’t fault at present.
“The game’s good. I’m feeling really confident with it and the results are following which is always good as well,” Coletta said.
“I’m just in a good space with my game. There’s no real weakness at the moment so I’m trying to capitalise on playing well.
“The time off was good, really recharged my batteries. This is my third season out here and I know it gets pretty busy pretty quick and towards the end of the year you might be forced to play coming in.
“I just made sure I was 100 per cent fresh to start and it’s paying off.”
There was a slight stumble to start for Coletta in Sunday’s final round with a bogey at the opening hole but he soon recovered, rattling off three consecutive birdies from the third hole to remain in contention until the final hole.
A Saturday 65 put Ryan Ruffels in position also to push for a top-10 finish but his charge ran out of puff late, dropping five shots in his final five holes to fall to a tie for 55th.
Making her first appearance for the year on the LPGA Tour, Minjee Lee began the final round in second position but five shots adrift of Inbee Park.
Bogeys at the third and sixth holes on a challenging day for scoring prevented Lee from mounting any pressure on the front-running Park but birdies at the 16th and 17th holes will put Lee in a good frame of mind ahead of this week’s ANA Inspiration.
None of the three Aussies in the field made it out of the group stage of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament and Aaron Baddeley’s tie for 48th was the best of those taking part in the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
World Golf Championships
Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
Cameron Smith def. Lanto Griffin 1 up
Jason Day def. by Scottie Scheffler 2 up
Marc Leishman def. by Victor Perez 2 &1
Marc Leishman def. Sungjae Im 2&1
Cameron Smith def. by Ian Poulter 1 up
Jason Day def. by Xander Schaueffle 2&1
Marc Leishman halved with Russell Henley
Cameron Smith halved with Rory McIlroy
Jason Day def. Andy Sullivan 2&1
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
Corales Puntacana GC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
T34 Tim Wilkinson 71-69-70-76—286 $US14,350
T48 Aaron Baddeley 70-70-74-74—288 $7,890
T63 Rhein Gibson 70-75-75-72—292 $6,480
MC John Senden 73-75—148
MC Greg Chalmers 75-74—149
MC Lucas Herbert 75-76—151
Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, California
T5 Minjee Lee 72-69-68-72—281
T26 Lydia Ko 74-71-70-71—286
T44 Sarah Kemp 72-75-69-72—288
T61 Hannah Green 73-72-72-74—291
MC Sarah Jane Smith 75-74—149
MC Su Oh 78-74—152
MC Katherine Kirk 82-73—155
Kenya Savannah Classic
Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya
T42 Scott Hend 66-70-72-67—275 €5,595
T48 Maverick Antcliff 67-69-68-72—276 €4,347
Korn Ferry Tour
Club Car Championship
The Landings Club (Deer Creek Course), Savannah, Georgia
T3 Brett Coletta 67-67-69-69—272 $US28,600
T55 Ryan Ruffels 71-70-65-76—282 $2,496
T62 Harrison Endycott 70-72-72-70—284 $2,412
T67 Brett Drewitt 72-70-70-73—285 $2,346
MC Steven Alker 73-71—144
MC Curtis Luck 71-73—144
MC Mark Hensby 72-74—146
MC Nick Voke 78-73—151
MC Jamie Arnold 76-76—152
PGA TOUR Latinoamerica
Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort, Mazatlan, Mexico
60 Danny List 70-71-79-76—296
Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon, Beaumont, California
4 Gabriela Ruffels 68-70-73—211 $US8,106
T11 Robyn Choi 73-69-72—214 $2,635
T34 Stephanie Na 74-68-76—218 $1,061