September 12, 2020 – Written By:LPGA Communications
Amateurs Rose Zhang and Gabriela Ruffels are certainly making the most of their exemptions into the 2020 ANA Inspiration. Zhang, who won last month’s U.S. Women’s Amateur over Ruffels, holed out from 150 yards for eagle at the par-4 fourth on Saturday and heads to the final round at -8 overall, tied for seventh.
“I’m super satisfied with how I played. Starting in the front, I wasn’t exactly hitting the ball where I wanted to, so I had to make a lot of clutch par putts,” said Zhang, who tied for 60th in the 2018 ANA Inspiration after winning the ANA Junior Inspiration. “After the eagle hole-out, which I didn’t expect, I started getting a little bit of momentum and overall, I’m just super satisfied with how I played.”
Ruffels captured the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur title and came so close to successfully defending before falling to Zhang. The University of Southern California senior, who heads to Sunday’s final round in a tie for 14th at -6, knows that she’s showed her best at the amateur level, and now this is her chance to learn so much more playing alongside the world’s best professionals.
“It was a great experience at the U.S. Am, all the pressure and expectation, and I handled it pretty well,” said Ruffels, who hails from Australia but currently lives just 20 miles from Mission Hills in Indian Wells, Calif. “This is a different stage, best in the world out here, so it’s just a great experience and I’m always trying to learn as much as I can.”