Ruffels Claims First Pro Victory on Epson Tour by Two Shots Over Scavo

Gabriela Ruffels earned her first professional victory and might be on her way to the LPGA Tour.

The 22-year-old Ruffels, who is Australian but grew up in Laguna Nigel and played at USC, held off Kathleen Scavo of Benicia to win the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic on the Epson Tour by two strokes at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.

“It feels so good (to win),” said Ruffels, who also captured the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. “I’ve wanted this all week, especially after the first round when I kind of got into the tournament. I just had to stay patient all day, and I can finally relax knowing that I won. It’s a really cool feeling.

“I made only one bogey all week and I feel like that’s probably one of my most proud things. I made a whole lot of birdies. My Mom (her caddie) told me to stay patient, and that’s what I needed to do out here. Turns out it worked out well.

“I came in 15th (in the point standings) on the Epson Tour last year and still felt like I had a lot to improve on. I feel like this year, if I can prove myself out here, then hopefully next year, if I get onto the LPGA Tour, I’ll be super ready. Definitely having this win, any win but especially this one, is going to boost my confidence for the rest of the year.”

Ruffels, who moved from 24th to first in the Epsom Tour point standings, posted a score of 68-67-67-68—270, 18-under-par, while second-round co-leader Scavo, who played college golf at Oregon, was right behind her with a strong finish at 66-69-69-68—272.   “It was a very positive tournament overall,” said Scavo, who had three birdies and an eagle in the last five holes to make it close. “This is my best finish ever, and it’s been a long journey, and it feels really awesome that all my hard work has been paying off. “Honestly, that last shot (to set up the eagle) was probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit. It was amazing. I’ve just been very thankful for my hosts this week, my Mom came to the tournament, and it was a very supportive team. I can’t wait for next week.”  Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Canada shot 68-73-67-67—275 to tie for third with Karen Chung of USC, who finished at 66-74-68-67—275, and Min A Yoon of South Korea, who wound up at 69-66-69-71—275.   Minji Kang of South Korea finished sixth at 69-70-67-70—276, while Katherine Smith totaled 66-71-74-66—277 to tie for seventh with Beatrice Wallin of Sweden, who wound up at 71-67-70-69—277.   Sin Boo Joo of South Korea was ninth at 69-67-69-74—279, while Kendra Dalton shot 71-70-71-69–281to tie for 10th with Grace Kim of South Korea, who finished at 68-73-69-71—281, and Roberta Liti of Siena, Italy, who came in at 67-69-72-73—281.

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