One of Australia's brightest young golfing prospects, Ryan Ruffels, has today announced his intention to turn Professional.
Making the announcement from his home course, the Victoria Golf Club, the Australian Junior Amateur Champion decided that the time was right to take the next step after a successful amateur career.
"I'm very excited, i've been pretty anxious to get amongst it. My last amateur event was back in October so it's been a bit of a wait," said Ruffels.
"There were a few things I had to weigh up, but I feel I've been around the amateur environment for a long time now. I've been lucky, I got the (Professional) exposure at quite an early age and I've been able to gauge myself and see where my game is at."
The 17-year-old Victorian will make his first start in the paid ranks on the PGA TOUR at the Farmers Insurance Open on the 28th January at Torrey Pines in Calafornia, followed by the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.
"I thought Torrie Pines would be a great place to start. I won the World Junior Championship there a couple of years ago and it's a course I play well at."
Ruffels is no stranger to taking on the Pros, having received a number of tournament invites on the PGA Tour of Australasia since 2013, which has seen him play alongside some of the worlds best Professionals including Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott.
In 2015, Ruffels finished tied for third at the Oates Victorian Open, his best finish to date on the PGA Tour of Australasia as an amateur.
Ruffels is coached by renowned PGA Professional and Director of Coaching at Yarra Bend Golf Course, Denis McDade.
McDade, who was awarded the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year award, has a long history of coaching Australian Professionals who have gone on to secure victories on the international stage including Marc Leishman, Marcus Fraser, Ashley Hall, Paul Sheehan and Matthew Griffin.
Headlines at a glance
What's on this week / 26th October - 1st November 2016
Find out what's on in the world of golf and which Aussies are in action this week.
Olympic duo to play the Australian PGA Championship
Queenslander Scott Hend and Victorian Marcus Fraser proudly wore green and gold at the Rio Olympics and will compete at the Australian PGA Championshi...
Japan Golf Tour
Jones takes top honours in Japan
Brendan Jones' resurgence continues after almost two years dealing with a wrist injury, the 41-year-old taking top Australian honours at this week's B...