SAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson is not pleased that Ryan Ruffels, a 17-year-old from Australia who recently turned pro, disclosed details of a wager the two made during a friendly round in San Diego last month.
Mickelson, 45, described it as "high school stuff'' Wednesday following a pro-am round at Torrey Pines, where the Hall of Famer will play in the Farmers Insurance Open for the 27th time. Ruffels is making his pro debut in the tournament.
In what was first a cute story reported by the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month, Ruffels and Mickelson played a practice round at Torrey Pines in December alongside Mickelson's brother, Tim, the golf coach at Arizona State.
Ruffels said they had a $2,500 wager, and Mickelson gave him 2-to-1 odds. With a late flurry of birdies, Ruffels won and said Mickelson paid. What caused some consternation was the fact that Tim Mickelson at one time had been recruiting Ruffels to play college golf.
That prompted Ruffels' management team, Wasserman Media Group, to respond that the teenager had decided to turn professional months ago and that the "'friendly wager' and the "'birdie barrages' reporting is a bit overdone and becoming a media fish story.''
Ruffels has declined to comment since.
Mickelson was not asked specifically about the practice round, but took the opportunity to take issue with the young golfer.
"He's got some things to learn,'' Mickelson said. "One of them is you don't [do] certain things. 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. That's high school stuff, and he's going to have to stop doing that now that he's on the PGA Tour.''