03 Jan 2021 | Amateur golf |

Ruffels wins big US prize

by Martin Blake

Gabi Ruffels driving image
Gabriela Ruffels finished inside the top 15 in two majors ... as an amateur. Photo: Getty

Australian amateur Gabriela Ruffels has won a prestigious award in the United States after her brilliant 2020 season.

Ruffels, 20, has been named AmateurGolf.com’s women’s player of the year.

The website said its award was "based on a point system earned through performance in major women's amateur events throughout the course of the year. This year, the 20-year-old Ruffels topped an international field of players due to her performance in college, amateur and pro events".

Ruffels, ranked sixth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, beat out Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad and Linn Grant, who finished second and third, respectively. The next closest American was fourth-place finisher Emilia Migliaccio.

Ruffels won her final collegiate tournament of the year at the Rebel Beach Intercollegiate, reached the US Women’s Amateur final for the second consecutive year, and finished inside the top 15 in two professional majors – the ANA Inspiration and the US Women’s Open – as well as finishing T5 in the Symetra Tour Championship.

She helped the International team to win the Palmer Cup for the second consecutive time, too, and became the first woman to enter the Jacksonville Amateur Championship in July.

Ruffels, daughter of former Australian Davis Cup tennis player Ray Ruffels, was born in the United States but schooled in Australia, where she took up golf after quitting a promising tennis career.

She is a senior at the University of Southern California.

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