18 Jun 2021 | Professional golf |

Ruffels, Oh get in mix on LPGA

by Martin Blake

Gabi Ruffels Meijer image
Gabriela Ruffels surveys a putt on the 15th in Michigan today on her way to a 67. Photo: Getty

Gabriela Ruffels and Su Oh made great starts at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan today, shooting 67s.

Rookie pro Ruffels, who is in the field on a sponsor's invitation, capitalised with eight birdies in her opening round.

She has new coach Grant Waite on her bag. "A couple people were joking that he's doing more caddying these days than coaching," she said afterward. "He's great. We're at the same course and I've been working with him the past couple months, so it's really cool to have him on the bag."

It was a low scoring day at Blythefield Country Club. World No. 10 Nasa Hataoka was one of a bunch of players to shoot seven under. "It's definitely a course -- I mean, there are five par-5s I'm pretty sure out here and the greens are pretty spongy and receptive," said the 21-year-old Ruffels. "It's a great course, and I think, yeah, scores are definitely going to be pretty low."

Ruffels, who has recently moved back to Florida from California, has one more sponsor's exemption - at the KPMG Women's PGA next week -- before she reaches her limit, and said she was looking forward to some Symetra Tour starts and the LPGA tour school later in the year. Better still, a win this week would get her playing rights for 2022.

Meanwhile Victorian Oh holed a 15-metre birdie putt at the third as the highlight of her six-birdie round. "I played solid. I played the par fives well as you need to here, and hit a couple close ones and just one surprise birdie., holed a long putt on the par three."

Hannah Green opened with a two-under par 70.


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