Golf body sees no signs of fixing; Lefty schools young ‘un on betting talk

TAGs: golf, match-fixing, Phil Mickelson

mickelson-golf-bettingThe UK golfing world’s governing body says it has no evidence that the sport faces the same claims of of match fixing currently embroiling the tennis world but it’s taking the matter seriously all the same.

R&A CEO Martin Slumbers told the BBC that his group had “not been made aware of any evidence of the type of issues” that have dominated this year’s Australian Open tennis tournament. Regardless, Slumbers insisted the authority wasn’t being “complacent” on the subject.

Slumbers noted that European Tour and British Open players were already required to sign documents declaring their inability to wager on golf events. But Slumbers said the R&A was keeping the betting issue “under careful attention” and if further restrictions were deemed necessary, “we will go further because inappropriate betting will undermine sport.”

As luck would have it, golf pro and alleged betting whale Phil Mickelson (pictured) just publicly chastised a new member of the PGA Tour for dishing on Phil’s penchant for wagering on just about anything.

The brouhaha began when the Sydney Morning Herald quoted 17-year-old Australian golfer Ryan Ruffels humble-bragging about winning $5k from Mickelson after prevailing in an early morning practice round at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Ruffles said Mickelson claimed he didn’t get up that early to play for less than $2,500 but generously offered Ruffles 2:1 odds. Since Ruffles was allegedly still an amateur at the time, Mickelson said that Ruffles could pay up when he turned pro. However, Ruffles ended up winning, leaving Mickelson owing the kid $5k.

This wager was complicated by the fact that Mickelson’s brother was reportedly trying to recruit Ruffles to attend Arizona State University, which potentially opens up a host of NCAA violations.

Within a few days, Ruffles was in full damage control mode, calling the story “very inaccurate” and saying he’d already turned pro before the match with Mickelson. Ruffles also claimed the size of the wager had been “exaggerated out of proportion.”

Fast-forward to this week, when Mickelson said young Ruffles had “some things to learn,” particularly that “you don’t discuss certain things, “ including “specifics of what you play for.”

Mickelson also suggested Ruffles had engaged in “high school stuff” by embellishing the amount of their wager, but somehow we suspect Mickelson just didn’t appreciate anyone other than Mickelson himself enhancing his already degen reputation.


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