This time last year, Gabriela Ruffels was making plenty of headlines, but not for a good reason.
After finishing 15th in the Epson Tour’s Race for the Card in 2022, Ruffels automatically qualified for LPGA Q-Series in December but still needed to register for the event by 5 p.m. on October 11. Thinking she had already done so, the deadline to sign up came and went, and it was only after the registration window closed that Ruffels realized she hadn’t actually signed up to compete in LPGA Q-Series, a costly mistake that caused her to miss out on an opportunity to earn LPGA Tour Membership in just her second year as a professional. It also meant that she’d once again have to fight for a spot in the Race for the Card top 10 the next season on the Epson Tour.
For some players, that kind of blunder might have mentally derailed them as they kicked themselves for such a simple clerical error that kept them from reaching the pinnacle of the women’s game and achieving a lifelong dream. Others would’ve pointed fingers and blamed others for the mistake, claiming that they didn’t have all the necessary information or that someone should have reminded them of the deadline when they noticed they hadn’t registered.
But that’s not Gabi Ruffels.
With a poise that belies her age, Ruffels owned the situation, picking herself up and dusting herself off, resetting and refocusing during the off-season, determined to make the most of another year on the Epson Tour. And boy, did she ever.