Mickelson chides 17-year-old for 'false' betting talk

Phil Mickelson took 17-year-old Australian Ryan Ruffels to task Wednesday for what Mickelson thought was talking out of school about a purported bet the two made during a round of golf.

Ruffels is set to make his PGA Tour debut Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. In a Sydney Morning Herald story posted Jan. 15, Ruffels said that he won $5,000 off Mickelson during a round at Torrey Pines a month ago.

Mickelson’s brother, Tim, the head coach at Arizona State who was unsuccessful in recruiting Ruffels, also played in the round, but Ruffels has maintained he had long before decided to turn pro. Ruffels' agent said in a released statement that the account of the wager was “a bit overdone and becoming a media fish story.”

After his Farmers pro-am round on Wednesday, Mickelson was asked about his relationship with Ruffels.

Mickelson smiled and paused before saying, “Well, that’s an interesting one. He’s a very nice person. I met him a month ago and we played for the first time. He’s young, and he’s got some things to learn.

“One of them is that 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 for your own benefit. So those are things right there that 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.”

Ruffels did not play in the pro-am and was not available for comment.

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