Kemp, Ruffels add to stellar Australian Open fields


LPGA Tour stars Sarah Kemp and Gabi Ruffels are the latest big names to join the impressive fields for the Australian Open in Sydney.

Both players are enjoying banner years in America and join a women's line-up also featuring major champions Minjee Lee and Hannah Green, and rising stars Grace Kim and Steph Kyriacou.

Kemp is putting together her best season yet on the LPGA Tour, boasting three top-10s and making 16 cuts.

The Florida-based, Tuncurry product's 2023 was highlighted by a fourth at last month's The Ascendent LPGA and representing Australia at the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown event.

"Coming home to Australia at the end of the year is always such an enjoyable experience, especially to play the Australian Open," Kemp said.

"I'm super excited."

In contrast to Kemp's 16 years on the most prestigious tour in women's golf, Ruffels will be a rookie in 2024 after earning her place via the Epson Tour, where she won three times in 2023 at the Carlisle Arizona Women's Golf Classic, Garden City Charity Classic and Four Winds Invitational.

Setting scoring records and being the only Epson Tour player to eclipse the $US150,000 mark in earnings this year, Ruffels has been a consistent performer when earning starts at the majors.

"I love coming home to Australia whenever I can, and after a successful year in America I am really looking forward to the Australian Open in Sydney," said the former US Women's Amateur champion.

"I can't think of a better way to finish the year than playing in front of some home crowds."

Ruffels and Kemp are seeking to become the first Australian woman to claim the Australian Open since Karrie Webb won her fifth title in 2014.

Co-hosted by The Australian and The Lakes Golf Clubs from November 30 to December 3, the women's Open is being played in Sydney for the first time since 2007.

Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Cameron Davis, Marc Leishman, Min Woo Lee, Lucas Herbert and defending champion Adrian Meronk are among those who will tee it up in the men's event.