Gabriela Ruffels Secures 2024 LPGA Tour Membership Through Epson Tour’s Race for the Card | LPGA | Association of Women’s Golf Professionals

The Australian closes the first of 10 Tour cards after her third win of the Epson Tour season

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The first athlete has mathematically earned a 2024 LPGA Tour card through the Epson Tour’s Race for the Card. Gabriella Raffles has secured her place on the biggest stage in women’s golf with seven tournaments yet to be played in the Epson Tour 2023 season.

“Winning once on the highly competitive Epson Tour is a great achievement. Winning three times in one season is a feat only accomplished by the very select few. Gabi’s success this year is a testament not only to her world-class talent but also to her resilience, positive attitude and hard work.” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “Gabi is ready to compete at the highest level of the game and we look forward to seeing her shine on the LPGA next year.”

“I am so excited to officially say that I will be on the LPGA Tour next year. It’s been my goal since I turned pro in early 2021 and I’m so proud to have won it through the Epson Tour,” said Ruffels. “It means the world and it’s something every little girl golfer strives to do, so to be able to qualify for next year and play in the tournaments I grew up watching on TV is a great feeling. I am very excited for 2024.”

After securing her third Epson Tour win of the season at the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Ind., Ruffels can officially call herself a member of the LPGA Tour for the 2024 season. In her rookie season on the Epson Tour in 2022, the Australian recorded five top-10 finishes, ultimately finishing the season five spots shy of an LPGA Tour card at No. 15 on the Epson Tour Official Money List. Despite missing the entry deadline for the LPGA Q-Series, Ruffels returned to the Epson Tour in 2023, determined to prove she deserves a spot on the big stage.

In her sophomore campaign, Ruffels made her presence known early by winning her second event of the season, the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Championship. Four events later, he stunned the golf world when he tied the Epson Tour’s all-time 54-hole record (-19) at the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes. A third win at the Four Winds Invitational was just icing on the cake of an already impressive year.

“I thought I had a good chance to step on French Lick [the week before the Four Winds Invitational] and they told me I had to finish one place higher, or something like that,” Ruffels said. “Win here [in South Bend] it was a great way to seal the deal.”

Ruffels will join the LPGA Tour in 2024 after Battlefield Promotion on the LPGA Tour after three wins on the Epson Tour changed as part of the overall restructuring with the installation of the LPGA Q Series in 2018. So far in 2023, Ruffels has played and has made the cut in three LPGA Tour events, including two majors, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the US Women’s Open. She will do so next on the LPGA Tour at the CPKC Women’s Open.

“I’m not sure what my plan is yet, I haven’t even thought that far ahead,” Ruffels said. “I’m going to take a week off next week and go back home to California. Then I have a start at the Canadian Women’s Open (CPKC Women’s Open) on the LPGA Tour, so that’s next now.”

With her goal now to make a name for herself on the LPGA Tour, Ruffels won’t forget the path she took to get there. Raffels enjoyed a successful amateur career before turning pro in 2022. The 23-year-old won the 2019 US Women’s Amateur while attending the University of Southern California. Ruffels was not only an accomplished amateur golfer, but she was also an accomplished amateur tennis player. During his time playing tennis, he won 21 ITF doubles matches, competing in Europe.

From amateur golf to the University of Southern California and the Epson Tour, the Aussie has a lot to be thankful for. In a game that feels like a rollercoaster at times, support means everything, and that’s not something Raffles has lacked.

“I would like to thank my parents. my brother and i have been through so much. They’re always here and supportive, and I have my mom in the bag every week,” Ruffels said. “Also thanks to Golf Australia for all their support and USC where I went to school. They are always so supportive, and the Epson Tour, thank you for giving us a tour to play and helping us get to the next level.”

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