Amateur Ruffels announces her move to the pro ranks
Following a hugely successful amateur career, Australia’s Gabi Ruffels is joining her brother, Ryan, in the pro ranks after signing a contract with Nike.
The 20-year-old made the announcement on Instagram and via the University of Southern California.
Ruffels won the 2019 US Amateur and finished runner-up in 2020 (Credit: USGA)
”Super excited to announce that I have decided to turn professional and will be joining the @nikegolf family. I will be making my LPGA pro debut at the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona later this month,” said World No.5 Ruffels.
“Just want to give a huge thanks to the @uscwomensgolf team, my coaches and my teammates for making the past 3 years in college the best of my life. It’s been an honour to play for such an amazing school and team and I am forever grateful to call myself a Trojan.”
“To everyone that has supported me so far, thank you. Can’t wait to see what this next chapter has in store.”
Ruffels initially followed successfully in her parent’s tennis footsteps before making the move to golf at the ripe old age of 15. Over the following five years, she became the first Australian to win the US Women’s Amateur title in 2019 and finished runner-up behind World No.1 Rose Zhang in 2020.
As an amateur, she also finished inside the top-15 at two LPGA majors and was named AmateurGolf.com’s Player of the Year.
“During Gabi’s time here [at USC] she was able to improve over 700 spots in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings), which is an amazing accomplishment,” said third-year USC Head Coach Justin Silverstein , who caddied for Ruffels at the US Amateur and last year’s US Open.
“We are incredibly pleased with the development she has made in our system and can’t wait to see how good she can get.”
Ruffels, who was born in the US but grew up in Australia, will tee off at the Gainbridge LPGA from February 25th at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida.