Reedley College’s Jacob Ruffino never anticipated finishing near the top of the Junior College men’s state golf championships last week.
But a first place finish? Never in his wildest dreams.
Ruffino captured the state championships, finishing two-strokes ahead of Canyons’ Sidney Wolf on the Rancho Canada Golf Club course in Carmel.
Ruffino, who had a 4-under par first round, had a two-day total 137.
Question: Before you golfed at the state championships, did you see yourself finishing on top?
Answer: No. Not really. The thought crossed my mind a few times, but I never thought about it for more than few seconds.
How did you stay relaxed during your rounds?
Singing a song in my head actually. It helps keep my mind off of things.
You shot a 74 at NorCal and had a much better score at state. What worked for you?
I played better than I scored at NorCal, so I just told myself that my game was there and I just needed to stay patient and keep the same mindset I had at NorCal, and it’ll all work out.
How long have you played golf?
My dad got me started when I was young, probably around 7 or 8. But I started taking it serious in junior high.
Did you win any tournaments before the state championship?
I won the 14-15 year-old age division at a JGANC tournament at Sierra Meadows, but nothing other than that.
How did you end up at Reedley College?
Coach (Scott) Stark called me during my senior season and talked to me about the opportunity. He got me excited about playing there and I thought it would be the best for me.
How much did you learn and who would you credit your success to?
I’ve learned so much about how to trust myself and how much being positive really helps. I would credit my success to my dad. Without his faith in me and his push, I wouldn’t be where I am.