07 Apr 2020 | Amateur golf | Golf Australia |
Kim, Ruffels receive Karrie Webb Scholarship
by Golf Australia
- By Justin Falconer
Sydney’s Grace Kim and Victoria’s Gabi Ruffels are the recipients of the Karrie Webb Series Scholarship for 2020.
The scholarships are awarded based on performance in the Karrie Webb Series, the World Amateur Golf Rankings, community work inside or outside of golf and performance and demeanour as an ambassador for golf in Australia and overseas.
Kim becomes the second young gun to earn the scholarship for a third time (following Becky Kay in 2017-19) while Ruffels is a first-time recipient.
“In the midst of all the turmoil going on around the world, I’m excited to have some good news to talk about and to congratulate this year’s KW Series winners,” Webb said.
Rising star Kim finished on top of the Karrie Webb Series standings on the back of a brilliant summer of golf where she played nine of the 11 eligible events. Her long-time state teammate Steph Kyriacou finished second on the leaderboard, narrowly ahead of WA’s Kathryn Norris.
“I’ve always appreciated Karrie’s generosity in assisting female golfers like myself in pursuing our careers,” Kim said, “and to have won the scholarship for the third time, I’m forever grateful.
“This scholarship inspires me to become as successful Karrie.”
“Grace has continued on again with dominant performances in Australia and overseas,” Webb said.
“I’m excited for Grace to be a part of the Series again this year.”
Ruffels is one of this year’s joint winners by virtue of being Australia’s highest-ranked female in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Turning 20 next month, Ruffels currently sits 12th on the world rankings on the back of her historic win at last year’s US Women’s Amateur. She reached a high of World No.8 in December last year.
“I am very excited and honoured to have won the Karrie Webb Scholarship for 2020,” Ruffels said.
“I’m so grateful that although I am at college in the US, I’m still able to feel the support from back home and the new change in selection process to WAGR has allowed girls playing outside of Australia to be considered for this scholarship.”
Ruffels has one three times in her last nine starts as a college student at the University of Southern California to rocket up the world rankings.
“Last year, Gabi arguably had one of the most successful years by an Aussie Am, winning firstly the North & South Am at Pinehurst and then going on to win one of the biggest events on the women’s amateur calendar.
“It’s great to have Gabi as a first-time recipient of the KW Series.”
Each year, seven-time major champion Webb invites both scholarship recipients to stay with her throughout one of the season’s major championships, to live like a professional for a week and experience the game at the top level.
Last year’s recipients, Kim and Kay, were arguably the most fortunate in the scholarship’s 13-year history after staying with Webb and Hannah Green for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine where the West Australian created history.
“Nothing beats the experience at Minnesota last year,” Kim said, “hopefully another Aussie can back up Hannah this year!”
“I can’t wait to spend a week with Karrie and learn from her,” Ruffels said.
“What a great mentor she is for aspiring female golfers in Australia! We all can’t thank her enough, especially me!”
Each recipient receives funding to be spent on international travel and playing experiences over the northern hemisphere summer and will be invited to stay with Webb during this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which is currently scheduled for late June at Aronimink GC.
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