Teenage prodigies invariably attract attention but Ryan Ruffels insists it is his low-key approach to his 2019 campaign that has him in position to finally graduate to the Korn Ferry Tour next year.
Ruffels will play the Mackenzie Investments Open on the Canadian Mackenzie Tour in Montreal this week having recorded two top-three finishes and a tie for 11th in his most recent start at The Players Cup, placing him 18th on the Order of Merit.
He is also fifth on the PGA TOUR-Latinoamerica Tour moneylist, both tours providing pathways through to the PGA TOUR’s secondary tour for those who finish in the top five on the Order of Merit.
Still just 21 years of age, Ruffels was criticised in February for taking up a sponsor’s invitation to play the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR but told PGATOUR.com’s Adam Stanley that he is getting much better at managing his game away from the spotlight.
“When I go down to a PGA TOUR Latinoamerica event or play in Canada I keep it pretty low key,” Ruffels said.
“I do my thing. I come down on my own and do my practice.
“Every time I went to a PGA TOUR event I’d have coaches or family and all that stuff.
“Once I get back out there, I’m going to treat it like I treat Latin or Canada events – it’s just another event.
“If I do that, it’ll hold me in good stead.
“I haven’t quite broken through for a win yet but I’m confident. Every day I’m improving.
“I’m not leaving anything to question. That gives me the confidence more than the results do.
“The results give me verification that what I’m doing is the right stuff. If I keep doing the right stuff my confidence starts to grow.
“Whether it’s through Canada or (PGA TOUR Latinoamerica), I’d love to be playing on the Korn Ferry Tour next year – any way that’s possible.”
While a step up the professional tournament food chain is motivation enough, there is suddenly extra incentive to notch a maiden win as a pro.
Ruffels’ younger sister Gabi recently became the first Australian to win the US Women’s Amateur, raising questions as to who actually is the best golfer in the Ruffels family.
“She’s had a pretty quick transition into golf and a very successful one at that,” Ruffels conceded, his pleasure in Gabi’s win obvious through his Twitter feed.
“She’s a tremendous athlete. She works very, very hard – probably one of the hardest workers I know mixed with a lot of talent and a lot of athleticism.
“I’m not surprised she’s getting the results she is very quick and it certainly keeps me motivated because I’m not quite ready to give up ‘best golfer in the family’ quite yet.”
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