Gabriela Ruffels of Australia and USC captured the Epson Tour’s Race for the Card and led 10 players on the circuit who earned their LPGA Tour cards for next season.
The 23-year-old Ruffels (pictured) was selected the Epson Tour’s 2023 Player of the Year after winning the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic, the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes and the Four Winds Invitational, in addition to posting three other finishes in the top 10 this season.
Ruffels led the Epson Tour money list, which determines which 10 players earn their PGA Tour cards, with $159, 926.
“I’m so excited to officially say that I will be on the LPGA Tour next year,” said Ruffels, who became the first Australian to capture the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019. “It has been my goal since I turned pro at the start of 2021, and I’m so proud to have earned it through the Epson Tour.
“It means the world and is something that every little girl playing golf strives to do, so to be able to have status for next year and play in the tournaments that I grew up watching on TV is such a great feeling. I’m super excited for 2024.”
Ruffels also won 21 International Tennis Federation junior doubles events in Europe before deciding to concentrate on golf.
Natasha Andrea Oon, 22, of Malaysia and San Jose State, the Epson Tour’s 2023 Rookie of the Year, finished second on the money list with $149,670 after winning the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout among seven finishes in the top 10.
“It’s so surreal, but it’s sunken in for sure,” said Oon, who was the 2021-22 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and was selected winner of the 2022 Juli Inkster Award as a senior at San Jose State.
“I’m excited for next year, mostly looking at the players I grew up watching, seeing them in front of you on the driving range on a daily basis, learning through them and how they walk, talk and handle themselves. I am in awe of them for sure, so I’m looking forward to learning from them and looking forward to competing with them.”
Jenny Coleman, 31, of Rolling Hills Estates, who played college golf at Colorado, wound up seventh in the Race for the Card with $106,137 after claiming her first career Epson Tour victory at the 2023 IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty and had three additional top-10 results this season.
Coleman is returning to the LPGA Tour after having full membership on the circuit in 2017 and partial membership in three other seasons.
“I’m so excited to have done it, and it’s there and I will be ready to go after it next season,” said Coleman, who has three career top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour, including solo third in the 2021 LPGA Drive On Championship.
“I’m just super proud of staying patient and staying strong and getting back to the LPGA full-time. I’m looking forward to having a full schedule out there. I wasn’t going to have a full schedule this year, and now I’m really looking forward to playing everything I can get in.”
The others who earned their 2024 LPGA Tour cards on the Epson Tour include Austin Kim of St. Augustine, Fla., and Vanderbilt; Jiwon Jeon of South Korea and Alabama; Minji Kang of South Korea and Arizona State; Agathe Laisne of France and Texas; Roberta Liti of Italy and Arizona State; Isabella Fierro of Mexico and Oklahoma State, and Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, and Alabama.
For complete information about the 10 players who earned their 2024 LPGA Tour card, visit: https://www.epsontour.com/news/2023/meet-the-2023-epson-tour-graduates