Golf great Phil Mickelson put his experience behind him when he recently reprimanded the teen golfer, Ryan Ruffels, who has skipped college to join the pro tour. One thing you never talk about in golf is money and Mickelson made that clear after Ruffels spilled the beans on a side bet for thousands that he had going with Mickelson.
According to News Max on January 29, Mickelson and his brother, Tim Mickelson, the Arizona State University golf coach, had an early morning round of golf with 17-year-old Ruffels. When asked if this was a recruiting round of golf, Phil Mickelson said that Ruffels had already decided to go pro before the match.
Keeping in mind that this golf prodigy is still only 17, he took his bragging rights of playing that early morning round a bit too far. Let’s say he went where no pro golfer should go with or without bragging rights. What Ruffels did to peeve-off Phil Mickelson was boast that he had a side-bet going on with the golf icon, which won Ruffels $5,000 of the pro’s money because the teen played a better game of golf.
Apparently there was quite a bit of exaggeration in this story which Mickelson called him on. It appears the youngster was building up his own ego a bit with the story spun about that golf game. While it is not known just how much the two golfer’s bet, or even if there was a bet at all, Mickelson didn’t like this teen telling tales off the golf course!
DB Techno reports that during an interview sometime after that round of golf, Ruffels told the interviewer that Mickelson made a side-bet on their golf game, which entailed the golf pro giving the teen $5,000 if the youngster beat him. Although Ruffels would only have to pay Mickelson $2,500 when he officially turned pro if Mickelson won.”
“I was a few down through nine but then I birdied six of my last seven to win by one shot and took his money, so that was pretty cool,” said Ruffels, who was described as saying this with “a laugh.” Even though this kid is very wet behind the ears when it comes to playing with the big boys, his story ticked-off Mickelson.
Ruffels didn’t leave it at that either, he went on to say he was glad to take Mickelson’s money and that Mickelson told him that he never plays for less than $2,500 on the golf course. Again, not making Mickelson happy.
Calling this “high school stuff,” Mickelson said that the teen is going to have to stop doing this now that he’s playing on the PGA Tour. The story was exaggerated, which Ruffels admitted on social media after Michelson’s reprimand. The Union Tribune had asked Mickelson about Ruffels story on the bet and Mickelson said:
“He’s young 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.”
Ruffels actually followed this up by posting on social media that his original story did contain “damaging inaccuracies” and the wager amount was “exaggerated out of proportion.”