Rudgeley, Peirce awarded Karrie Webb Scholarships

West Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley and South Australia’s Caitlin Peirce have been named the latest recipients of the Karrie Webb Scholarship.

For the 21-year-old Rudgeley, it marks the second year in a row she has collected the prestigious award while Caitlin Peirce is a first time winner.

Kirsten Rudgeley Kirsten Rudgeley poses with The Athena trophy (Credit: WPGA)

At World No.39, Rudgeley is our top-ranked women’s amateur and has spent the past few years stamping her mark on local and international tournaments amassing three international wins in 2021 alone.

Earlier this month she finished in a tie for 8th at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and in February she defeated a host of professionals to win The Athena on the WPGA Tour in Victoria adding to her earlier victory at the Avondale Amateur.

“It helps a lot,” said Rudgeley about the benefits of the scholarship win.

“It’ll be great to meet Karrie in person this year. It’s all organised now, but last year we couldn’t make it happen because of COVID. She sends me messages every time that I play well or do something in a tournament, so I’m looking forward to some face-to-face contact with her.”

Royal Adelaide’s Caitlin Peirce topped the Karrie Webb Series, which ran from the Keperra Bowl in October last year and concluded at the Australian Amateur a fortnight ago.

Wins at the Tasmanian Open Championship, Tasmanian Amateur Championship (non-counting) and the Rene Erichsen Salver saw her edge out Queensland’s Justice Bosio for the top prize.

“I’m so happy to receive the scholarship. It’s great that Karrie has set up this amazing opportunity for Australian athletes. It’s definitely very helpful and it’s great that she has had it for so long as well,” said Peirce, who also recorded top-5 results at the Australian Amateur, Riversdale Cup, Avondale Amateur and NSW Amateur this year.

“To receive this has only really been a goal of mine for the past couple of weeks during the last few events of the series. It hadn’t been something I’d thought about before because I’d probably never played well enough for it to be on the radar. It’s like a nice bonus to finish off how well I’ve played in recent times.”

This year’s scholarship winners will receive mentoring and guidance from Karrie Webb along with funding to cover travel expenses to play in overseas tournaments.

While access to Webb has been limited due to COVID restrictions, this year the seven-time major champion is looking forward to the winners joining her in the US.

“I’m looking forward to having both girls over to the U.S. this year to play some golf and watch the KPMG Women’s PGA at the end of June.”

“I think it goes to show that the depth in women’s golf in Australia is definitely improving, with up to seven or eight women with a chance to take one of the two scholarships in the closing week.”

Since its inception in 2008, the Karrie Webb Scholarship has proven a boon for women’s amateur golf with major champions Minjee Lee and Hannah Green amongst the past recipients along with current LPGA Tour players Su Oh and rookie Karis Davidson.