Gabriela Ruffels and the loneliness of the long distance Tour player


Gabriela Ruffels and the loneliness of the long distance Tour player

When an amateur golfer makes the life choice to become professional and join a Tour, their life can change more than they ever imagined. There are celebrations of victories won, of course, but there is also the long distance haul away from home, family, friends and all things familiar. Now in the time of Covid with its travel restrictions and quarantines, that sense of distance is amplified.

One person who talked briefly about the homesickness that can stalk Tour players is Blake Windred, who was a runner up at this year's Queensland Open. He spoke about it earlier this month during the Swiss Challenge. Hannah Green spoke of it at the Portland Classic. Cameron Smith did not hesitate to take several weeks time out with his dad who had flown over from Aus last month. Back in May, Russell Gould wrote of the effects that homesickness, distance and isolation were having on Marc Leishman. In August, Brent Read described the angst that distance and pandemic restrictions were causing for Adam Scott

Gabriela Ruffels, too, is coming to terms with "the loneliness of tour life". 

Gabriela began her professional life in tennis, becoming the number one ranked Australian junior at just 12 years old. She won 21 International Tennis Federation doubles events in Europe. Then in 2015 she moved from tennis to golf and in 2019 she became the first Australian to win the US Women's Amateur. In February this year she turned professional. You can read what she says about some of the stressors of Tour life in this article by Beth Ann Nichols.

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