In-form Aussie rookie qualifies for U.S Women’s Open

    Ruffels shot rounds of 70-66 for a six-under-par total of 136 at San Joaquin Country Club in Fresno, California, to earn one of two qualifying spots for the season’s second major from May 30 to June 2.

    The 24-year-old is fresh off her career-best LPGA Tour performance, a third at last week’s Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey.

    That result followed and equal third at the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship in March and two other top-15 finishes in 2024 that have thrust Ruffels to the lead in the LPGA’s rookie-of-the-year race.

    Ruffels also tied for 40th at last month’s Chevron Championship, the first major of the year.

    The former Australian junior tennis champion will be teeing up for her fourth U.S Open tilt, having tied for 13th in an impressive debut in 2020, the year after she won the U.S Amateur Championship.

    Ruffels already boasts four top-20 finishes at the majors and will join a strong Australian contingent at Lancaster Country Club, headed by top-10 stars Minjee Lee and Hannah Green.

    Melbourne native and Iowa State women’s golfer Keeley Marx also qualified this week through Briarwood Country Club in Deerfield, Illinois.

    Marx, 20, carded rounds of 69-72 for a one-under total of 141 to secure medallist honours and a major championship debut.

    Ruffels, Lee, Green, Grace Kim, Steph Kyriacou, Sarah Kemp, Robyn Choi and Karis Davidson also give Australia eight players in this week’s field for the Mizuho Americas Open in New Jersey.

    Nine of the world’s top-10 players, including World No.1 Nelly Korda, are contesting the $US3 million ($A4.5 million) event starting on Thursday.

    – Darren Walton

    © Golf Australia. All rights reserved.

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