Late Bloomer Gabriela Ruffels Survives Heat, 31st Hole Caddie Switch To Win U.S. Women's Amateur

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While the big boys were mired in slow play bickering, a sensational young player emerged in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Waverley.

Brentley Romine notes Gabriela Ruffels’ switch to golf at age 14 paying off with Australia’s first U.S. Women’s Am win and a fast-emerging career that is likely to get plenty of attention during the upcoming year.

And make sure to check out JuliaKate Culpepper’s game story from the final, including the zany story of Ruffels trying to come back in a match while also enduring a caddie switch at the 31st hole due to travel plans of her USC caddie/coach.

In addition to an unrelenting opponent and humid conditions, Ruffels switched caddies from USC head coach Justin Silverstein to Mississippi State junior Blair Stockett on 31st hole as Silverstein had to get to catch a flight for a funeral.

Throwing Stockett, whose home course is Old Waverly, into the mix to replace Silverstein hadn’t been planned for long. In fact, she only had an hour or two to get ready.

“Her mom kind of told me her coach and caddie had to take a flight so they didn’t really know how the timing would line up, but just be ready in case,” Stockett said. “So when they finished and were on lunch break, I marked a couple pins in my book and came out just in case and hole 15 I guess was when he needed to leave so I just jumped on, kept her calm. I knew she had it in her.”