Former NSW State team representative Ruben Sondjaja has come up one shot short in a thrilling final day at the 113th Trans-Miss Championship being played in San Francisco.
Despite carding a respectable four round total of 5-under par 275 around the famous Olympic Club’s Blue course, the Bonnie Doon member was unable to get the better of Texan Will Zalatoris, a member of the powerful Wake Forest College golf team.
Sondjaja began the final round tied with Zalatoris at 5-under and kept pace with the eventual winner of the championship, piling up par after par while one group behind, Zalatoris did the same.
Zalatoris grabbed the lead from the Sydneysider with an 3 metre birdie putt on the ninth hole to take a one-shot lead. When Zalatoris walked in a 7-metre birdie on the famous par-5 16th, his lead to two shots. Minutes later, Sondjaja rolled in a 1-metre putt for birdie on 17 to trim the advantage back to one.
Sondjaja missed the 18th green on his approach and scrambled for his par. All that was led for Zalatoris to do was ease in a par-saving putt for the title.
It's the second time Zalatoris has taken out the championship, the first being in a rain shortened event at Southern Hills Country Club in 2014.
Sondjaja for his part was upbeat after receiving his runner-up trophy. He broke through for his first college win at the Hawkeye Invite in April and knows he’s heading in the right direction.
“Even-par at the Olympic Club is a good score any day,” he said. “With what was on the line today, I think it was a respectable score. I’m really proud of myself for the way I played under the gun. Was it my best game today? Probably not, but I’m happy with how I played.”
Of the remaining Australians, Victorian Blake Collyer finished in a tie for fourth at even par, while Newcastle’s Blake Windred and Western Australian Kiran Day both missed the cut.