In-form Ruth avoids action replay reverse to win at Dudsbury

In-form Ruth avoids action replay reverse to win at Dudsbury


In-form James Ruth avoided the frustration of losing two play-offs in a row to settle a Carlsberg Marston’s Order of Merit tournament by defeating Toby Hunt to win the Dudsbury Masters.

The event at the popular Dorset venue was making a welcome return to the region’s schedule after an absence of five years and Ruth went into it following a near miss in the PGA Open Series at Bristol Golf Club.

He was denied victory on that occasion when Nico Els prevailed at the second extra hole but there was to be no déjà-vu of disappointment a week or so later.

Having ended the two rounds level with Hunt on two-under par, Ruth needed a par at the first extra hole to defeat his rival from St Mellons Golf Club, Cardiff.

Hunt, the 2021 Order of Merit winner, was making the first appearance of the series after missing the first two tournaments and Ruth has capitalised on his absence.

The pro from China Fleet Golf and Country Club, Cornwall, has established a healthy lead in the current Carlsberg Marston’s Order of Merit and is well-placed to win it for the first time.

All of which would be in keeping with what is unfolding as a memorable season for the 37-year-old (above).

In addition to excelling at regional level, he will be a member of the Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team that takes on the USA at Foxhills, Surrey, in September.

“It’s been a good couple of months,” he said. “I’ve been scoring really well and enjoying it.

“I’ve changed a lot of things mentally. We’ve got a 16-month-old baby now and that changes things.

“And I listen to a lot of podcasts. That’s been really good mentally. It relaxes me and has got me thinking clearly.”

Reflecting on his round, he added: “I haven’t swung the club very well over the last two days but I battled about as hard as I can battle to post that score.

"I was a bit lucky in the play-off when Toby missed a short putt but I’m very pleased.”

Hunt also had cause to rue a bogey at the par-five 17th when he was three-under and seemingly heading for victory. And he was not alone in pondering what might have been.

Having shared the lead at the end of round one on four-under, former first-class cricketer Peter Trego bogeyed the final hole and missed out on contesting the play-off and the chance to claim his first major regional tournament victory within months of turning pro.

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