Brisbane’s Emily Mahar in action during her win today – Chris Keane USGA

Australians Gabriela Ruffels and Emily Mahar have advanced to the second round of the US Women’s Amateur Championship in Rockville in Maryland.

The only other Australian in the event, Kirsty Hodgkins, was eliminated after losing to Malaysia’s Alyaa Abdulghany.

Ruffels, who is defending the title she won last year, drew clear in the closing stages of her match against South African, Kajal Mistry, but it was a hard fought contest early, the pair still tied through twelve holes before Ruffels birdied the 13th and 15th holes and eventually won 4&2.

“It was a little bit of a shaky start,” said Ruffels, 20. “It took me a while to kind of get into it, but I was really happy with the way I finished.

“I played a little later today, so the wind was up a lot more and kind of a different direction than the other days, so I did have to make a couple adjustments with what I hit off of tees.”

Brisbane’s, Mahar, who is currently playing collegiate golf while studying at Virginia Tech, is playing her second US Women’s Amateur Championship and emerged as the winner today after a tight battle against Alabama’s Michaela Williams.

Mahar was never behind in her match but it was a close fought affair with never more than two holes between the pair. Mahar held on to win 1 up at the last.