Bonville Golf Resort, 5 - 7 April, 2024

The Australian Women's Classic Bonville - Presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios

Rudgeley Ready to Draw on Amateur Experience

West Australian Kirsten Rudgeley will draw on her experience as an amateur two years ago to push for a maiden Ladies European Tour win at this week’s Australian Women’s Classic presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios at Bonville Golf Resort.

Rejoining the LET schedule for the first time since 2022, the Australian Women’s Classic has drawn a field to the Coffs Coast overflowing with international talent to take on the best young professionals and amateurs in the women’s game in Australia.

Four years ago, this tournament was the launchpad for then amateur Stephanie Kyriacou to announce herself on the world stage.

Rudgeley finished 30th on the moneylist in her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour in 2023 and has made the cut in each of her first four LET starts this season to date.

She was tied for 16th at last week’s Women’s NSW Open at Magenta Shores Golf and Country Club on the Central Coast, admitting that the elevation changes and towering gums that flank the fairways of Bonville provide a completely different test than a windswept Magenta.

“They couldn’t be any more opposite,” said Rudgeley on Tuesday.

“It’s quite damp underfoot so the ball’s finishing where it’s landing, where last week it was the opposite.

“You were landing it 40 yards short and letting it roll up and that sort of stuff. And we had no grain last week, whereas this week it’s really grainy greens and the elevation. I don’t think there was any elevation last week. Might’ve been a few holes, but nothing major. Whereas this week it’s almost every hole.

“I’m used to it now. Week in, week out you’re playing different golf courses in different countries, so you’ve got to adapt to it pretty quick.”

Rudgeley was one of five Aussie amateurs who finished inside the top 30 when the Australian Women’s Classic was last co-sanctioned with the LET in 2022.

Two of those – Justice Bosio and Sarah Hammett – have maintained their amateur status and Rudgeley believes these experiences will serve them well not only for future amateur events but for when they take the pro plunge.

“All these amateur girls that get the chance to play in them just makes them a bit more comfortable not necessarily playing in all these pro events, but when they play in their big amateur events,” she added, Bosio and Hammett leading a six-strong Aussie amateur contingent this week.

“When I played the US Amateur, that felt like a professional event just because of how good these girls are.

“Playing professional events definitely helped me to feel more comfortable in that environment.”

Rudgeley’s previous appearance at Bonville preceded her start at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur by just a few weeks, where she experienced golf’s most famous playground on her way to a tie for eighth.

And while Rudgeley acknowledges that there are course similarities to what is widely known as Australia’s Augusta equivalent, off the course she says that there is nothing quite like Augusta National.

“There’s no menu, you can have whatever you want, whatever time of the day you want it,” Rudgeley said of Augusta’s silver service.

“If you want a steak at six o’clock in the morning, you can have a steak at six. It’s just crazy.”

The final event of a two-week LET swing in Australia, play gets underway on Friday morning with the final two rounds to be broadcast live on 7Plus.

HOW TO FOLLOW
For live scoring and the latest news visit www.auswomensclassic.com.au E

Instagram: @golfnsw
Twitter: @GolfNSW
Facebook: @GolfNSW
Official hashtag: #AustralianWomensClassic

HOW TO WATCH
The second and third rounds of the Australian Women’s Classic will be shown LIVE on 7plus.

Round 2: Saturday 12:30pm-5:30pm AEDT
Round 3: Sunday 11:30pm-4:30pm AEST

FORMER CHAMPIONS
2023: Breanna Gill
2022: Meghan MacLaren
2021: Not Played (COVID)
2020: Stephanie Kyriacou
2019: Marianne Skarpnord
2018: Celine Boutier

COURSE DESIGNERS
Ted Stirling and Terry Watson (1992)

TOURNAMENT RECORD
Stephanie Kyriacou 63 (Round 2, 2020)

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mariajo Uribe, 2024 Women’s NSW Open champion
Anne Van Dam, World No.80
Kelsey Bennett, 2024 The Athena champion
Bronte Law, LPGA Tour winner
Cassie Porter, 2023 Melbourne International champion
Meghan MacLaren, 2022 Australian Women’s Classic champion
Shannon Tan, 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open champion
Trichat Cheenglab, 2023 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner
Jeongmin Cho, WNSWO RQ winner – Duntryleague

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