Relaxed Rudgeley ready to deliver on tour in 2024

27th Jan 2024

Kirsten Rudgeley

WA’s Kirsten Rudgeley is looking to make the step to ‘Tour Winner’ status in 2024 after a solid rookie season on the Ladies’ European Tour.

The Mount Lawley ace played 20 events on the LET in 2023, racking up four top-10 finishes, including T4th in the big-money season finale in Spain.

She ultimately finished 30th in the LET’s season-ending Order of Merit and 4th in the Rookie of the Year race, showing great consistency in making 12 consecutive cuts and recording a driving accuracy of 80% and Greens in Regulation of 74%.

GolfWA caught up with Kirsten during her end-of-season break in Perth to discuss her first year on tour and her ambitions for 2024…

Kirsten Rudgeley 2023

Kirsten Rudgeley enjoyed an impressive first season on the LET


Kirsten, how would you rate your rookie year on the LET?

I haven’t won, so I definitely couldn’t give myself an A, but would probably say a solid B. I had a chance to win in two or three events, which is always good as a rookie. If I find myself in the same position this year, I’ll be able to use that experience of knowing what it feels like to be in contention and hopefully go one step better.

Even if I didn’t win last year, I’m pretty happy with my rookie season. I’m happy that I was able to compete with a lot of those girls, even though I hadn’t played any of the courses before or experienced life on tour. Now I’ve been there, done it and seen the courses, I feel I’m in a good place to do well in 2024.

Any regrets from 2023?

Not being able to close out those events, especially the Tour Final, when I was leading after three rounds. It’s not great when you miss opportunities like that, but it’s a learning experience. My coach, Craig Bishop, told me to just go out on my first year and take it all in, and I feel like that’s what I did. That was good advice, because it’s hard being a rookie, especially all the travel. I’ve never experienced so many back-to-back events, and living out of a suitcase isn’t a lot of fun.

Talk to anyone who’s been on tour and they’ll tell you it’s hard work. I know that for myself now. But it’s definitely still been very enjoyable. I mean, I get to travel the world doing the thing I love most, which is pretty cool.

Do you feel at home on tour now?

Definitely. I’m quite a relaxed player and being Australian I’ll chat to anyone, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve got a few good friends on tour now, some of them I’ve known since our amateur days, so I’m pretty comfortable out there. Some of the more established pros have also been really welcoming. For example, I’m good mates with Becky Brewerton, who has played in two Solheim Cups for Europe, and she’s been so helpful in answering my questions about life on tour and just helping me settle in.

What have you learned from your rookie season?

I got frustrated quite a bit throughout the start of the year because I found I was following up good rounds with a bad one, or shooting a high score in my first round and having too much to do to catch up. What I’ve learned is that you can’t be that way. You’ve got to put those frustrations behind you and keep going and going and going.

During the last event of the year in Spain I had a great chance to win, but just didn’t play very well on the final day and missed the chance. I wasn’t very happy about it, but that’s how golf is sometimes.

I’m lucky enough to have people around me who help me out throughout the year, and who give me good advice – including little things like treating yourself at the end of the year. When I got back to Perth before Christmas, my coach told me that I’d had a good season and that I should treat myself – so I went out and bought a nice handbag!

Kirsten Rudgeley

What are your expectations for 2024?

I’m not much of a goal-setter. I just play my golf each week, but it’s such a funny game that it’s hard to set expectations. You can play well one week and terribly the next, so I just go out there to play and see what happens. There’s no point putting pressure on yourself. Golf’s hard enough as it is. As long as you prepare correctly you’ve got nothing to blame yourself for, and I feel like I’m doing that.

Can I win this year? I hope so. I’ve put myself in the position a couple of times and haven’t quite made it over the line. I’m happy with where my game is and my schedule for the year ahead, so if I’m in that position again I’ll be ready for it.

I also want to come home to Perth a little bit more often. For me, just being able to chill out and see my mates is really helpful. My results last year were good enough to earn exemptions for some of the bigger events in 2024, so I can pick and choose my schedule a little bit more.”

“There’s no point putting pressure on yourself. Golf’s hard enough as it is.”

Kirsten’s first event of the year will be the Kenya Ladies Open from February 8-11. She will also compete in the LET’s NSW Women’s Open and the Australian Women’s Classic in March and April. You can keep up with her progress on tour here.

Pic credits: Ladies European Tour