Coquitlam, B.C. – After a competitive 36-holes, Gabriela Ruffels of Indian Wells, California and Lauren Kim of Surrey, B.C. have earned direct exemptions into the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open by finishing atop the leaderboard at the U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier at The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C.
Ruffels, 23, shot a combined 7-under with rounds of 69 and 68 to earn her spot in the U.S. Women’s Open for the third time in her career and credited solid play and patience for getting her back to the U.S. Women’s Open this year, “I hit a lot of fairways out there, hit a lot of good approach shots, hit a lot of greens and was just tapping in for par pretty much the whole day and then just had to stay patient and the birdies came.”
Ruffels won the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur and finished T13 in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open as an Amateur and is excited to return to Pebble Beach, “I love USGA events, especially at Pebble it’s going to be really historic and unique. I love Pebble, it’s one of my favourite places so being able to go this year is just amazing,” said Ruffels.
Kim, 17, shot a combined 5-under with rounds of 70 and 69 to earn her place in the U.S. Women’s Open. The Team Canada member found herself one back heading into the second round, “I just told myself to keep chasing as if I’m one stroke back the entire round. My dad and I were just working together to push as hard as we could, save our pars whenever we could and make birdies when there was the opportunity, so I think that was key.”
Kim who will be attending the University of Texas later this fall will be headed to the U.S. Women’s Open for the second straight year, “I still can’t wrap my head around it, it’s so surreal. I did it last year and that took a while to sink in, so I think I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling a little happier and excited.”
Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver, B.C. will be the first alternate. The Team Canada NextGen member finished 2-under with rounds of 69 and 73. Today’s qualifier marked the first time that a U.S Women’s Open Qualifier has been hosted in Canada. The field in Coquitlam at The Vancouver Golf Club featured 57 golfers with a combination of both professionals and amateurs competing for two direct exemptions. A record 2,107 entries are competing in qualifiers for spots into the field of 156 players for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open. This year’s tournament runs from July 6-9 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California.
For the full leaderboard click here.