Gabi Ruffels has made a final round ace to lift her into a share of eighth at the Epson Tour’s Ann Arbour Road to the LPGA where fellow Aussie Grace Kim was T4 five shots back of winner Kiira Riihijarvi of Finland.
Riihijarvi closed with a three-under 69 to reach 10-under for the week and defeat overnight leader Pavarisa Yoktuan by two shots after the Thai player struggled to a one-over third round.
After opening with rounds of 74 and 71, Ruffels was a fair way back starting the third and final round and arrived at the par-3 12th hole at even for the day before a bit of magic got her round trending in the right direction.
The third of her golfing life, Ruffels’ hole-in-one was followed by an eagle at the par-5 14th, with a bogey at the next and birdie at the final hole seeing her sign for a four-under 68 and three-under tournament total, seven back of Riihijarvi.
“It was really cool. It was my third hole in one and the first one I could actually see, so that was cool. I wasn’t having a great day, I was even for the day, and I wanted something to happen so that was pretty good and it got my round going,” Ruffels told the Tour’s website.
Starting the day in third and eyeing a second win on the secondary Tour this year, Kim opened with back-to-back birdies to signal a potential final day charge.
Bogey at the par-3 7th halted the momentum before Kim birdied the 11th and 14th to reach eight-under-par. However the par-4 15th proved the end of the 21-year-old’s run when she made a double bogey that was followed up by a bogey at the last for an even par 72 and five-under total.
Kim now sits in second on ‘Race to the Card’ behind Lucy Li with Ruffels moving to 15th place just in front of compatriot Robyn Choi with fellow Aussie Sarah Jane Smith in 11th, with the top-10 earning LPGA Tour playing privileges next season.