Three Australians have advanced to the match-play phase of the US Women’s Amateur Championship at the Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point in Mississippi, Victorian, Gabriela Ruffels, heading the way after she finished in a share of 5th place.
Ruffels will be joined by NSW’s golfers Doey Choi (21st) and Stephanie Kyriacou (54th) in the field of 64 golfers who will now face off in the knockout phase over the next few days.
Other Australians in the field, Becky Kay, Jessica Whitting, Amelia Grohn and Sue Wooster all missed the cut in the 36-hole stroke-play contest.
Ruffels, a sophomore at the University of Southern California, recorded a round of 68 today to easily play her way into the next stage of the championship and will play the 59th seed, Shaebug Scarberry, in tomorrow’s round of 64.
Ruffels has been in excellent form in recent weeks winning the prestigious North and South Amateur at Pinehurst last month and is excited about what lies ahead.
“I love match play,” she said today. “I just won the North & South [Women’s Amateur] a couple weeks ago and I really enjoy match play, especially coming from a tennis background, kind of that one-on-one. So we’ll see how it goes.”
“You’ve just got to hit your spots. I don’t think it’s too long. I was talking to my coach [at USC, Justin Silverstein], I think you’ve just got to stay patient, pick your holes that you want to be aggressive on but then kind of lay off on the harder holes. Yeah, I feel like I did a pretty good job of that.”
No Australian has won the US Women’s Amateur Championship in its more than 120-year history, Lindy Goggin and Anne Marie Knight doing best when they finished runner-up in 1981 and 1995 respectively.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko won the event in 2012.