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Maria Fassi and Gabi Ruffels have received sponsor invitations into next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA.
Fassi missed several weeks of competition after undergoing surgery last April to repair a tear in her left knee. She returned to action last week at the LPGA Mediheal, where she missed the cut.
“I actually wrote an email and like a letter to Shawn Quill requesting an invite,” said Fassi. “I mean, I talked with Suzy Whaley like if she could do something. I talked to Stacy (Lewis) as her being sponsored by KPMG, if like she could put in a word.
“So I talked to everybody to see if they could help in any way to get a good word for me and I could get the exemption. Stacy actually texted me and she was like, ‘Hey, you should be expecting a good call sometime soon.’ And within an hour or so I got an email, and, I mean, I couldn’t stop beaming for the rest of afternoon.”
Fassi said she played Atlanta Athletic Club back in April with a friend and loved the course. The former Arkansas star had extra time to work on her short game as she recovered from surgery and expects that extra focus to pay off soon.
Gabriela Ruffels holds the Robert Cox Trophy after winning the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons
Ruffels, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, made her professional debut at the Gainbridge LPGA in February and is competing in this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The former USC standout has three top-20 finishes in major championships in the past two years: 2020 ANA, T-15; 2020 U.S. Women’s Open, T-13; 2021 ANA, T-19.
“I’m excited,” said Ruffels. “I’ve never played in KPMG. I’m pretty sure as an amateur in 2020 I played in all the other majors, so I’ve never played in that one. Really looking forward to it.”
Ruffels left college without any tour status of any kind. She could earn her LPGA card and avoid Q-School by either winning an LPGA event or earning the equivalent of the top 40 on the points list by season’s end.
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