25 Jun 2023 | Women and girls | Professional golf |

Women's PGA: Young Aussies eye top 10 finishes

by Australian Golf Media

Gabi Ruffels
Gabi Ruffels is in a share of 12th place heading into the final day of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Two young Australians put themselves into a strong position to post their best results in a major after climbing the leaderboard at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol today.

Grace Kim and Gabriela Ruffels with both start the final round with a top-10 finish on their minds, in a share of 12th place at one-under-par, after a day when two-time major champion Minjee Lee’s challenge faded with a four-over-par 75.

The two leading Aussies are six shots behind the third-round leader, Ireland’s Leon Maguire (69).

Ruffels fired a three-under 68, which included five birdies and a double-bogey, to leap up 17 positions, while Kim’s two-under 69 boosted her from 21st to just outside the top 10.

The highlight of Ruffels’ day was a seven-iron on the par-three fourth hole that finished within tap-in distance for her second birdie of the round.

The two-time winner on the Epson Tour this year, who has a major tournament career-best of 13th at the 2020 US Open, said the Lower Course at Baltusrol was providing the toughest test she had encountered as a professional.

“Every hole is a new story, a new challenge. There’s no resting on any putt, any tee shot, any approach,” she said.

“I feel like I’m definitely playing well, playing solid. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Kim is playing on the weekend for only the second time in her short pro career after tying for 63rd at last year’s US Open.

The 22-year-old had climbed inside the top 10 before slipping up with a bogey, her only dropped shot of the day, when she went offline on the par-five final hole.

“I knew the rough was going to be penalising. You know you’re going to lose a shot which happened on 18. I made sure I kept it on the fairways and the greens and took the chances when I could with the putter,” she said.

“Tomorrow is about mainly about keeping it in play.”

After starting the day in fifth, Minjee Lee fell to a share on 26th at one-over after her 75, a score which was matched by 2019 Women’s PGA champion Hannah Green who now sits at eight-over for the tournament.

The other Aussie to make the cut, Steph Kyriacou (74) is at seven-over.

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