WEST POINT, Miss. (AP) — Gabriela Ruffels became the first Australian winner in U.S. Women’s Amateur history Sunday, beating Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland 1 up in the 36-hole final at Old Waverly Golf Club.
“I’m a proud Australian,” Ruffels said. “That’s where I started playing golf. I have such a huge support system back there, and to win it not only for myself but everyone back home is huge, and it just means the world.”
The 19-year-old Ruffels, preparing for her junior season at the University of Southern California, pulled even with a birdie on the par-5 33rd, took the lead with a birdie on the par-3 35th and matched Valenzuela with a birdie on the par-4 36th. With Valenzuela 3 feet from the hole on the 36th, Ruffels won with a downhill, left-to-right curling 10-footer.
“I don’t really know yet. It’s been kind of a blur the last kind of 20 minutes,” Ruffels said. “But this is amazing. This is what you dream of as a kid when you start playing golf. This is the biggest championship in amateur golf. I’m still speechless.”