Well, unless the Australian lad making his pro debut at Torrey Pines Thursday is primed for a less-than-friendly game with Phil Mickelson. The same Mickelson who tried to recruit him to his alma mater and teed up at Torrey Pines last month in a friendly game.
Ruffels, you may recall if you followed this obscure little story, claimed to have birdied six of seven holes to take $5000 off of Mickelson, who gave the 17-year-old 2-1 odds. He shared the story, then had to downplay it. But that wasn't enough to appease Phil who spoke to the media on the North Course's 9th green following his pro-am round.
From Ryan Lavner's item at GolfChannel.com:
“He’s young,” Mickelson said, “and he’s got some things to learn.
“One of them is you don’t discuss certain things. You don’t discuss specifics of what you play for. And you certainly don’t embellish and create a false amount just for your own benefit. So those things right there are – that’s high school stuff, and he’s going to have to stop doing that now that he’s out on the PGA Tour.”
Parents, let this be a learning lesson on the perils of golf course wagering!
**Cameron Morfit at golf.com concludes:
One gets the sense that Ruffels and company would like nothing more for the story to go away, but Mickelson's public rebuke Wednesday ensures that won't happen anytime soon. On the bright side, he and Ruffels won't be playing together at the Farmers, and Mickelson won't have to set foot on the North Course and imagine what might have been -- until Friday.
Ruffels goes off the 10th tee on the North Course with Rhein Gibson and Henrik Norlander at 12:50 p.m. ET. Mickelson, Justin Rose and Jimmy Walker will start on the first hole of the South Course at 1:40 p.m.
Golfweek's Jim McCabe notes:
Mickelson said this for public consumption, surrounded by media members. Chances are, however, that he wasn’t shy about sending the message personally to Ruffels.
Though Ruffels is from Australia, he is an American citizen. And if he's as good as billed, he could be a candidiate for Phil's 2024 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Just some food for thought!