29 Nov 2022 | Australian Open |
Rudgeley to kick off professional career
by Dane Heverin
Kirsten Rudgeley will make her first start as a professional golfer at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open at Victoria and Kingston Heath golf clubs this week.
Rudgeley, who hails from Mount Lawley Golf Club in Perth, has been a prolific amateur representing Australia at the World Amateur Team Championship and the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, and holding a Karrie Webb Scholarship for the past two years.
In addition to her victories on home soil, Rudgeley won abroad at the 2021 English Women's Amateur Championship and the Helen Holm Scottish Women's Open Championship and came in a tie for eighth at the Augusta National Women's Amateur earlier this year.
Her success in the United Kingdom included her playing her way into a major debut at last year's AIG Women's Open through qualifying, and she also won The Athena earlier this year.
"I am happy that I am embarking on my professional step now and that I have waited – I feel ready. The last 18 months have been amazing and I have been very proud of my amateur wins," Rudgeley said.
"Augusta was just awesome – everything was a VIP experience and super professional. I am so thrilled to have had this opportunity.
"I am very grateful for the support I have had to get me to this point. My parents and family have been amazing and this has not been a short journey! I am well aware it has taken the time, money and care of many people to get me to this point. My sponsor Callaway have been exceptional, and Joe O’Dea has assisted me significantly through the years.
"I have a coach that has always believed in me, and club communities at my home club Mount Lawley and Wanneroo that have offered me years of encouragement and support. I am grateful to Golf WA and Golf Australia for offering me so many playing opportunities through the years – it is this experience that has given me the solid grounding to get here.
"I just like to keep things simple. I’m not going to think about this week and my professional debut any differently. I just want to get out there and play my best. It will just be so cool to be a part of it!"
Rudgeley is not the only amateur to turn professional this week with Victorian Kono Matsumoto also making the leap onto the WPGA Tour of Australasia.
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