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Phil Mickelson denies he lost a $5,000 bet to a 17-year-old golfer

Lefty also says the youngster has a lot to learn about golf”s unspoken etiquette.

Phil Mickelson is unhappy with 17-year-old Ryan Ruffels
Phil Mickelson is unhappy with 17-year-old Ryan Ruffels
Image: AP/Press Association Images

EARLIER THIS WEEK, 17-year-old golfer Ryan Ruffels revealed that he once played a very lucrative practise round with Phil Mickelson.

The youngster, regarded by many as the future of Australian golf, agreed to a money-match with the five-time Major winner.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald:

“We get on the first tee, it’s pretty early in the morning and he says, ‘I don’t wake up this early to play for any less than $2500.’”

The 45-year-old was generous enough to give Ruffels 2/1 odds meaning that, if his younger opponent managed to win, Mickelson would give him $5,000.

Hong Kong Asia Pacific Amateur Golf Ruffels (right) has annoyed Phil Mickelson. Source: Vincent Yu/AP/Press Association Images

However, if he lost, Ruffels would only have to pay the $2,500 when he turned professional.

Ruffels would win the match after he birdied six of his last seven holes to secure a one-shot victory and $5,000.

Or maybe not.

Mickelson has responded by saying that the young star still has “a lot 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 (of money) 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,” he told the Golf Channel.

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Steve O'Rourke

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