Date: October 03, 2015
Author: Tom Fee in Hong Kong

Nervous wait for Aussies

There will be six nervous Australians in Hong Kong tonight with the weather likely to dertermine their fate at the Asia-Pacific Championship.

All six sit inside the top-20, but none occupy the crucial top spot, taken by Chinese leader Jin Cheng.

With a category three typhoon predicted to bring winds in excess of 70km/h, there is every chance that the entire round will be cancelled, leaving Cheng to be declared the winner as the 54 hole leader.

A statement was handed to the players post round that read;

"Despite inclement weather being forecast for Sunday, the competition committee will do everything it can to complete the final round tomorrow," read the statement.

"Players should be advised, however, if play cannot be completed, the result of this year's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship may be declared after 54 holes."

Given the weather forecast, the atmosphere in the final round was tense with the Australians fully aware that holding the 54 hole lead was paramount.

Drawn together in the second last group, Victorian Ryan Ruffels and NSW’s Cameron Davis both pushed into the lead, but settled for a tie for second place at 10-under par.

Ruffels and Davis have the exact same numbers on the leaderboard, with rounds of 69, 64 and 67 for a total of 200.

Tied for the clubhouse lead at the end of their round, the Australian pair watched Cheng chip to inches to secure a birdie that would give him sole possession of the lead.

In the post match press conference, the pair spoke of their plans to grab the 54 lead.

“I don't know what Cameron's tactic was, but early on, I was just trying to keep pace with Cam, because I knew there couldn't be anyone in front of me if I wanted to finish the day on top,” said Ruffels.

“At the start of the day, [our coaches] told us that conditions were going to be pretty average tomorrow," said Davis, echoing Ruffels comments.

"We needed to make as much of a move as we could today, and if we get a chance tomorrow to play, then great.  But it would have been great to be sitting at the top after today.”

But Davis and Ruffels aren’t the only Australians in contention if Round 4 were to be played.

Defending champion Anthony Murdaca shot a spectacular bogey free 64, to rise to 7-under and is within four of the lead.

Victorian Lucas Herbert almost matched the South Australian, shooting 65 to be placed T12, alongside NSW’s Travis Smyth.

WA’s Jarryd Felton started, and ended, the day placed T19, after shooting a 2-over round of 72.

As the leaderboard stands after 54 holes, both Ruffels and Davis would earn starts at this year’s Thailand Golf Championship, which played part of The Open Qualification series.

But with a Masters spot on the line, it’s a small consolation.

“I guess it hurts a little bit more in this tournament," said Ruffels

"Because we obviously know what carries at the end.

“Any other tournament, you'd be disappointed, but like not quite to this extent.  Everyone dreams of going to Augusta, and we both played our hearts out today.  We really gave it our all in those conditions.  I don't know, I'm just hoping we can play tomorrow.”