21 Feb 2020 | Amateur golf |

Ruffels back to winning ways for USC

by Mark Hayes

Gabi Ruffels in action for USC in Las Vegas. Picture: John McGillen/USC Athletics
Gabi Ruffels in action for USC in Las Vegas. Picture: John McGillen/USC Athletics

Australian Gabi Ruffels won her first tournament since last year's US Women's Amateur today.

As part of a dominant University of Southern California team that had four of the top five spots at the Rebel Beach Intercollegiate, Ruffels led throughout for a two-shot victory in Las Vegas.

"I was happy to get the win today," Ruffels told USCTrojans.com after her rounds of 68-68-71 left her at a tournament record nine under and one of only eight players under par for the week at Spanish Trail Country Club.

"I played super solid all week and knew I just had to stay steady today, which I was able to do, so I'm really happy.

"I'm also very happy for the team to get our first win of the season today."

Her Trojans, now ranked third nationally, were nothing short of dominant with their 25-under team total the fourth lowest in USC history in a 54-hole tournament and good for a 22-stroke victory over Fresno State with New Mexico third another 22 shots behind.

"It was a great team effort and a strong follow-up to our second-place finish last week at Northrop," USC coach Justin Silverstein said.

"Thrilled to see Gabriela get her first win this season and Allisen Corpuz battled her to the final hole. Having Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey also finish in the top five was a testament to the excellent all-around work the team put in."

Ruffels, who last year also won the North and South Amateur before winning golf's greatest amateur prize, sealed her second career collegiate win with her fifth round in a row of par or better.

Since a 48th to start the season, Ruffels has improved in each of her following four tournaments, including a tie for 12th last week at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.

The Victorian will push back towards the top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings when they are updated next week.

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