Golf Australia Rookie squad Dec 23_banner

Rookie Squad

The Golf Australia rookie program comprises male and female golfers in the final six months of their amateur career until the end of their fifth year of professional golf.

The Golf Australia high performance program has been expanded to allow a number of young professionals to receive the levels of support that have previously been unachievable.

Successful applicants will each receive a rookie scholarship that is offered for a period of one year. Fully funded Golf Australia rookies will receive up to $AU100,000 in reimbursed funding to cover expenses.  Partial scholarships may also be offered.

2024 Rookie Squad

DOB: 14/09/2002 Club: Peregian Springs GC Turned pro: 2021 Coach: Dan Morrison Main tour: Epson Tour and WPGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @cassie_porter_

> Cassie's world ranking and results.

About Cassie

Cassie turned professional in December 2021 after a promising amateur career that included a win at the Keperra Bowl that same year.

She also represented Australia as an amateur and in January 2023 registered her first win as a professional by prevailing over her best friend Kelsey Bennett in a thrilling four hole playoff at the Drummond Golf Melbourne International.

Porter spent the 2023 season playing on the Epson Tour in the United States where she had two top-10s and finished tied-14th in the tour championship.

Professional Wins

  • 2023 Drummond Golf Melbourne International, WPGA Tour of Australasia

Best Professional Results

  • 9 – 2024 Vic Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • 2 – 2024 Webex Players Series Victoria, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T9 – 2024 Webex Players Series Murray River, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T8 – 2023 Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship, Epson Tour

  • T4 – 2023 Champions Fore Change Invitational, Epson Tour

  • T11 - 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T8 - 2022 Four Winds Invitational, Epson Tour

  • T4 - 2022 Vic Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur Wins

  • 2021 Keperra Bowl

DOB: 29/1/2002 Club: Joondalup CC Turned pro: 2022 Coach: David Milne Main tour: Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia, Challenge Tour Social media: @connormckinney__

> Connor's world ranking and results.

About Connor

Connor turned professional ahead of the 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship after a dominant amateur year that included victories at the Australian Amateur and the St Andrews Links Trophy.

He represented Australia in international competition and played 2023 on the Challenge Tour in Europe.

Best Professional Results

  • T5 - 2021 WA PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • T9 - 2021 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • T2 – 2023 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T5 – 2023 Kaskada Challenge, Challenge Tour

Amateur Wins

  • 2022 Australian Amateur

  • 2022 St Andrews Links Trophy

  • 2022 South Australia Amateur Classic

DOB: 23/04/02 Club: Southport GC Turned pro: 2021 Coach: Ritchie Smith Main tour: Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @elvis_emylie

> Elvis's world ranking and results.

About Elvis

Elvis truly arrived on the Australian golf scene in early 2021 when he produced a stunning weekend of back-to-back eight-under-par 63s at Rosebud Country Club to finish runner-up in The Player Series event. The left-hander is one of Australia’s most exciting prospects, having already claimed four amateur victories and 13 top-10 finishes, including twice winning the Keperra Bowl and dominating to win the Australian Junior crown.

Suffered a debilitating back injury late in 2021 which curtailed his season on the European Tour, but is now fit and back playing the local tour in Australia with aspirations to travel abroad once more.

Best Professional Results

• T6 – 2024 Webex Players Series Victoria, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • T2 - 2023 TPS Victoria, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • 3 – 2023 The National Tournament presented by BMW, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • 9 – 2023 NZ Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • T12 - 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • T12 - 2021 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia • 2 - 2021 TPS Victoria, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as amateur)

Amateur Wins

  • 2020 Keperra Bowl

  • 2020 Queensland Stroke Play Championship

  • 2019 Australian Boys’ Amateur

  • 2019 Keperra Bowl

DOB: 14/04/2000 Club: Victoria GC Turned pro: 2021 Coach: Grant Waite Main tour: Ladies European Tour, Epson Tour Social media: @GabiRuffels

> Gabi's world ranking and results.

About Gabi

Gabi Ruffels is one of Australia’s brightest young stars, and has graduated to the main LPGA Tour as a full member in 2024 via a dominant season on the Epson Tour in 2023.

Ruffels, who spent her infancy in the US before moving to Australia, won three times on the Epson Tour and was the No. 1-ranked player for 2023.

Incredibly, she only took up golf aged 14 having been a member of Australia’s tennis High Performance programs.

Ruffels turned pro in 2021 despite not having LPGA Tour or Epson Tour status, on relied on invitations to play. Previously she was one of world golf’s amateur stars, ranked No.6 in the world.

In 2019, Ruffels became the first Australian to win the world’s most sought amateur prize, the US Women’s Amateur, and has since looked right at home in her limited opportunities on the LPGA Tour.

Remarkably, Ruffels already has two top-15 finishes in major championships.

Professional wins

• 2023 Four Winds Invitational, Epson Tour • 2023 Garden City Classic, Epson Tour • 2023 Arizona Women’s Classic, Epson Tour

Best Professional Results

• 3 – Twin Bridges Championship, Epson Tour • T4 – 2023 French Lick Classick, Epson Tour • 4 - 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, Ladies European Tour • 3 - 2022 Carolina Golf Classic, Epson Tour • 4 - 2021 IOA Championship, Epson Tour • T13 - 2020 US Women’s Open, LPGA Tour (as amateur) • T15 - 2020 Ana Inspiration, LPGA Tour (as amateur) • T5 - 2020 Symetra Tour Championship, Futures Tour (as amateur)

Amateur Wins

  • 2020 Rebel Beach Intercollegiate

  • 2019 US Women’s Amateur

  • 2019 North and South Women’s Amateur

  • 2018 Windy City Collegiate Championship

DOB: 13/12/2000 Club: Avondale GC Turned pro: 2021 Coach: Khan Pullen Main tour: LPGA Tour, WPGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @gracekimmey

> Grace's world ranking and results.

About Grace

Grace Kim made an immediate impact on the LPGA Tour in 2023 by winning the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April, 2023 at just her third start as a full LPGA Tour member.

It establishes her as a rising star of the sport and gives her playing rights for two years on the biggest tour in the world for women.

Previously Kim was an Australian Amateur champion, Australian Junior Amateur champion, and Youth Olympic gold medallist.

She graduated to the LPGA Tour by finishing in the top-10 on the Epson Tour in 2022. Kim registered her first win as a professional at the Epson Tour's IOA Golf Classic in 2023 and upon returning home to Australia for the 2022/23 summer, she was fourth at the ISPS Handa Australian Open.

Professional Wins

  • 2023 Lotte Championship, LPGA Tour

  • 2022 IOA Golf Classic, Epson Tour

  • 2021 Oscar Williams Classic, Women’s All Pro Tour, USA (as an amateur)

  • 2021 Sun City Championship, Cactus Tour, USA (as an amateur)

Best Professional Results

  • T7 - 2023 ISPS Handa Australian Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T13 - 2023 US Women’s Open, LPGA Tour

  • 14 - 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, LPGA Tour

  • 4 - 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T10 - Founders Cup, LPGA Tour

  • T3 - 2022 Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic, Epson Tour

  • T3 - 2022 Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship, Epson Tour

  • 2 - 2021 WPGA Championship, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • 2 - 2022 The Athena, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T4 - 2022 TPS Murray River, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T10 - 2022 Drummond Golf Melbourne International, WPGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur Wins

  • 2021 Australian Amateur

  • 2020, 2021 NSW Amateur

  • 2018 Youth Olympic Gold medal

  • 2017 Tasmanian Amateur

  • 2017 South Australian Amateur

  • 2017 Australian Junior Amateur

Karrie Webb Scholarship 2016-19

DOB: 15 October, 2001 Club: St Michaels GC Turned pro: 2023 Coach: John Serhan Main tour: Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @harrisoncrowe

> Harrison’s world ranking and results

About Harrison

At 21, Harrison Crowe has already played two professional majors. His place in the 2023 Masters and Open Championships was secured by his stunning win at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Amateur in Thailand, a victory secured with a great up-and-down at the final hole.

Although he missed the cut in each event it has given him a taste of his future.

Ironically that Asian win probably delayed Crowe’s graduation to PGA Professional because he already had status waiting for him on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia as a result of his brilliant win at the 2022 NSW Open at Concord.

Crowe also has been part of winning NSW teams at national level and has managed to fill the ‘W’ column more regularly than most.

Professional wins

2022 NSW Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

Best professional results

  • T2 – 2022 The National Classic, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T2 – 2023 Queensland PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T8 – 2023 Hong Kong Open, Asian Tour

Amateur wins

  • Asia-Pacific Amateur 2022

  • NSW Amateur 2022

  • Master of the Amateurs 2022

  • Victorian Amateur 2021

  • Asia-Pacific Junior 2019

  • Riversdale Cup 2018

DOB: 26/11/2001 Club: Royal Fremantle GC Turned pro: 2022 Coach: Ritchie Smith Main tour: Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia, Challenge Tour Social media: @haydenhopewell

> Hayden's world ranking and results.

About Hayden

Hayden turned professional ahead of the 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship after a stellar amateur career where he represented Australia and Western Australia.

He made waves in Australian golf during the summer of 2021/22 when he finished runner-up twice on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia while he was still an amateur.

Hayden has already won a professional event - the 2020 WA Open which he won as an amateur - and he spent time in Europe in 2023 playing the Challenge Tour.

Professional Wins

2020 WA Open, ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

Best Professional Results

  • T2 - 2022 TPS Murray River, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 2 - 2022 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • T10 - 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T11 – 2024 Heritage Classic, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T11 – 2023 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T6 – 2023 Webex Players Series Murray River, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T9 – 2022 Gippsland Super 6, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T2 - 2022 TPS Murray River, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 2 - 2022 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • T10 - 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open, Challenger `PGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur Wins

2021 North Shore Classic

DOB: 8 February, 1996 Club: Western Australian GC Turned pro: 2022 Coach: Craig Bishop Main tour: DP World Tour Social media: @haydnbarron

> Haydn’s world ranking and results.

About Haydn

Perth’s Haydn Barron always appears to be making up for lost time. Yet he’s never in a hurry. Late turning pro – he was an elite amateur and the WA captain until he was 23 – he was immediately hit hard by the pandemic and travel restrictions which kept him from pursuing his dream.

Barron, who has a passion for course architecture, duly went back to his home club in Perth, Western Australian GC, and worked on the superintendents’ staff.

Once the worst of the pandemic had gone he quickly made a mark on the pro scene by chipping in at the 72nd hole at the 2022 ISPS HANDA Australian Open in Melbourne to finish tied-fourth, grabbing a spot in the 2023 Open Championship. It was his first major championship start.

He was also rookie of the year on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia. Since then, he has earned his playing rights on the DP World Tour via tour school – a gruelling six-round ordeal at which he finished ninth overall.

Best Professional Results

  • T4 – 2022 ISPS HANDA Australian Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • 2 – 2022 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • 2 – 2023 WA PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur wins

  • 2017 Mandurah Open

  • 2019 Mandurah Open

DOB: 06/02/1998 Club: The Grange GC Turned pro: 2021 Coach: Adrian Wickstein Main tour: Asian Tour, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @JackJohn98

> Jack's world ranking and results.

About Jack

Jack burst on to the Australian golfing scene with a second-place finish at the 2020 Isuzu Queensland Open as an amateur. The 23-year-old South Australian reached a high of World No.31 in the WAGR rankings. Prior to turning pro, the South Australian recorded a course record 65 at Kooyonga in the 2021 Australian Amateur Championship.

He won his first tournament as a pro at the Gippsland Super 6 in December 2021 and he won Asian Tour qualifying in early 2023 to earn his card.

Professional Wins

2021 Gippsland Super 6, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

Best Professional Results

  • T11 – 2023 Heritage Classic, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T12 – 2023 International Series England, Asian Tour

  • T11 - Volvo China Open, Asian Tour

  • T5 - 2022 Victorian PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T12 - 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • T7 - 2021 Victorian PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

  • 2nd - 2020 Isuzu Queensland Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as amateur)

  • T13 – 2020 NT PGA Championship, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as amateur)

  • T23 - 2019 Japan Open Golf Championship, Japan Tour (as amateur)

Amateur wins

  • 2018 Riversdale Cup

Date of birth: 19 July, 2004 Club: The Australian Turned pro: 2023 Coach: Glenn Whittle, Gary Barter Main Tour: Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @jeffreyguan04

> Jeff’s world ranking and results:

About Jeff:

Jeff Guan has been regarded as one of the brightest talents to come out of Australia for some years now. Club champion at Bexley when he was 12, he rose to win two NSW Junior Amateurs and the national junior championships of 2020 and 2021.

He also won the Junior Players Championship at Sawgrass in Florida and represented the International team at a Junior Presidents Cup. He turned professional in 2023 having already logged some strong top-10 finishes in Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia events while competing as an amateur.

Best professional results:

  • T6 - 2021 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 4 - 2023 TPS Sydney, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 4 - 2022 WA Open, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • T5 - 2023 Vic PGA, Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur wins

  • 2023 Avondale Amateur

  • 2022 Junior Players Championship

  • 2022 Australian Junior Amateur

  • 2021 Australian Junior Amateur

  • 2021 NSW Junior Amateur

  • 2020 NSW Junior Amateur

Age: 20/02/2001 Club: Mount Lawley GC Turned pro: 2022 Coach: Craig Bishop Main tour: Ladies European Tour, WPGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @kirstenrudgeleygolf

> Kirsten's world ranking and results.

About Kirsten

Kirsten turned professional ahead of the 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open after holding the mantle as Australia's top ranked amateur.

She represented Australia, won tournaments overseas, competed in the Augusta National Women's Amateur and earned a maiden major championship start at the 2021 AIG Women's Open during her amateur days.

Only weeks after turning professional, Kirsten earned her Ladies European Tour card at Qualifying School and spent 2023 in Europe, where she finished a creditable 30th on the points list.

Best Professional Results

  • T7 - 2022 Vic Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 7 - 2022 Australian WPGA Championship, WPGA Tour of Australasia (as an amateur)

  • 13 – 2023 ISPS Handa Australian Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T10 – Aramco Team Series, Florida, LET Tour

  • 4 – 2023 Irish Open, LET Tour

  • T4 – 2023 Open de Espana, LET Tour

  • 8 - 2023 Webex Players Series Murray River, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • 8 – 2023 Webex Players Series Victoria, WPGA Tour of Australasia

Amateur Wins

  • 2022 Avondale Amateur

  • 2021 English Women's Amateur

  • 2021 Helen Holm Scottish Women's Open Championship

  • 2021 North Shore Classic

  • 2021 Rene Erichsen Salver

DOB: 22/11/2000 Club: St Michael's GC Turned pro: 2020 Coach: Gary Barter Main tour: LPGA Tour and WPGA Tour of Australasia Social media: @stephkyriacou2

> Steph's world ranking and results.

About Steph

Now a third-year ‘veteran’ of the LPGA Tour, Kyriacou logged three top-10 finishes in 2023 to hold her card and represented Australia in the International Crown, and two top-10s in 2022.

Her best finish on the LPGA Tour is tied-fourth in Ohio.

She had a rapid rise to fame in which she was Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2020, followed up with a top-three on the LET points list in 2021. Passed through the gruelling eight-round Q-series in Florida to secure her card to play on the LPGA Tour for the first time in 2022.

In her first season on the premier tour Kyriacou impressed at the majors with a tied seventh finish at the AIG Women's Open and a tied 10th result at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

She had a remarkable 2020 with six top-5 finishes on the Ladies European Tour earning her Rookie of the Year. Her year began with one of the most incredible golfing stories in recent memory, when she shocked the world in dominating the LET-sanctioned Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville near Coffs Harbour. The eight-shot win punched her ticket to the LET and she turned pro soon afterwards.

Before turning pro, Kyriacou routinely challenged at amateur events across the country and led NSW to back-to-back Interstate Series titles in 2018 and 2019.

Professional Wins

  • 2021 Big Green Egg Open, LET Tour

  • 2020 Australian Ladies Classic Bonville (as an amateur), LET Tour

  • Best Professional Results

  • T5 – 2023 ISPS Handa Australian Open, WPGA Tour of Australasia

  • T5 – 2023 The Annika, LPGA Tour

  • T4 – 2023 Aramco Ladies Series, Ladies European Tour

  • T4 – 2023 Dana Open, LPGA Tour

  • T7 - 2022 AIG Women's Open, LPGA Tour/LET Tour

  • T10 - 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, LPGA Tour

  • 4 - 2021 Ladies Italian Open, LET Tour

  • 5 - 2021 Open de Espana, LET Tour

  • T13 - 2021 AIG Women's Open, LPGA Tour/LET Tour

  • 2 - 2020 VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open, LET Tour

  • T2 - 2020 The Saudi Ladies Team International (Individual), LET Tour

Amateur Wins

  • 2019 Australian Master of the Amateurs

  • 2019 Queensland Amateur

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