Ryan Ruffels plotted rather than powered his way through the field today, joining Harrison Endycott as the Australian qualifiers into the Western Amateur matchplay in Illinois.
Ruffels, who began the marathon third day at Rich Harvest Farms, outside Chicago, outside the top 16 who advanced, carded rounds of 70 and 71 to climb to five under after four rounds of strokeplay.
The Victorian pulled level with Endycott in a five-way tie for eighth after the Sydneysider looked set for a top-three finish until a triple-bogey on the devilish par-four 17th brought him back to the pack.
Medallist honours belonged to Alabama’s Robby Shelton, who fired rounds of 71-68-71-67 to finish two strokes clear at 11 under.
The round of 16 and quarter-finals of the matchplay will be played tomorrow, with Ruffels to face New Zealand’s Luke Toomey and Endycott to tackle second-round leader Dawson Armstrong, of Tennessee.
Four other Aussies played the 36 holes today but did not reach the top 16, a place that required a three under total.
Western Australia’s Curtis Luck came to the last hole needing a birdie, but took a bogey for a 73 that left him one under.
Ben Eccles played his closing eighth holes in one under par, but for all his consistency managed a par round of 72 that left him square after four rounds.
Fellow Victorian Lucas Herbert will rue four double-bogeys in a tough third round of 79 that left him too far back for his closing 69 to matter in a three-over-par total.
And New South Welshman Troy Moses had a day he’d rather forget with a triple bogey in each of his rounds of 78 and 80 that left him 12 over.
The other seven Aussies originally in the field didn’t make the 45-man cut to play the third and fourth rounds.