27 Nov 2019 | Amateur golf |
USGA honours Ruffels, Michel
by Mark Hayes
While not blessed with the profile of having one’s name etched on the Claret Jug, being added to the USGA’s champions’ plaque is one of golf’s greatest honours.
And this year, for the first time, two Aussie names were simultaneously added to cap a great season for Australians playing in the United States.
The 2019 edition of the elite honour roll was unveiled this week at the USGA Museum’s Hall of Champions in New Jersey.
And on it were the names of Victorians Gabi Ruffels and Lukas Michel.
Ruffels became the first Australian to win the US Women’s Amateur in early August with a spectacular win in a pulsating match play final in Mississippi.
Then, six weeks later, fellow Melburnian Michel took advantage of the USGA’s new age categories to become Australia’s first US Mid-Amateur champion.
Both players have earnt themselves major championship starts in 2020 as a result.
But while the exemptions will be finite, their names will sit forever in the hallowed halls of one of golf’s great museums.
And spare a thought for another Victorian, Sue Wooster, who for the second year in a row came within a hair’s breadth of getting her name in the Senior Women’s Amateur slot, losing the final for a second successive year to American Lara Tennant.
Re-live Gabi's historic win in the 2019 Final
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