Devon’s James Ruth made defending his English PGA Championship title this week look straightforward after main from begin to end to say back-to-back victories at Bowood.
The Wiltshire venue is proving to be a agency favorite for Ruth after an completely dominant week, which noticed the Plymouth-born professional break the course file.
A powerful 61 (-11) on Tuesday was adopted up with a 71 yesterday, giving 38-year-old Ruth a wholesome five-shot lead over his nearest rival, 2018 winner Matthew Cort, heading into the ultimate spherical.
Any indicators Ruth could have been feeling the strain have been put to mattress early on when he recorded back-to-back birdies on holes three and 4 to go two-under-par.
His nearest opponent Dave Coupland was decided to shut the hole and raced to three-under-par via the primary six holes. Cort, nonetheless, struggled to make up floor and needed to wait till the ninth gap to choose up his birdie of the day. Ruth additionally birdied 9 however his lead was lower to 4, the shortest it’s been all week, when Coupland birdied gap 10. Each gamers bogeyed 12 and with Coupland respiratory down his neck ready to pounce on any extra errors, Ruth saved his cool to win by 4 photographs with a closing rating of 14-under-par.
“It’s all the time tough while you come again to defend your title,” mentioned Ruth. “It’s not a straightforward factor to do, however with my spherical on Tuesday, folks say you’ll be able to’t win a event within the first spherical, nicely I undoubtedly assume I did this week. That was one of the best spherical of my life and the previous couple of days I used to be hanging on a bit.
“I used to be actually scuffling with my driver at the moment so I hit loads of irons and managed the sport rather well. I’m actually proud to shoot two-under-par. I used to be nearly extra happy with at the moment’s spherical than I used to be Tuesday’s as a result of it’s straightforward to shoot rating while you’re enjoying nicely, however to shoot two-under-par enjoying as I used to be, I used to be actually happy with that.”
Requested if at any level he felt beneath strain from a decided Coupland in second place, Ruth continued: “At present I used to be two-under-par after 4 and from there it was only a case of preserving it stable. I saved the ball in play and simply managed my sport – I didn’t actually really feel beneath strain in any respect on the market.
“Profitable this event means so much. It’s one of many greatest occasions we play as PGA Professionals so I’m actually proud to win it and hopefully they hold it right here at Bowood yearly as a result of it appears to be a course I actually like.
“It’s not a course I’ve performed that a lot aside from the English PGA Championship. It’s a extremely good structure, there’s some nice holes and it checks your sport quote so much. It’s in all probability one of many hardest programs within the South West area. It’s an awesome venue.”
Coupland put up a valiant effort in his pursuit to catch Ruth, capturing four-under-par to complete as runner-up on -10, whereas Cort was made to accept third place two photographs again on -8. Ashton Turner shot the spherical of the day to safe a fourth-place end on 5 beneath par.
CLICK HERE to view the ultimate leaderboard from the English PGA Championship.