PROMISING young pro golfer Ryan Ruffels has been given a glowing endorsement from the world’s best golfer on the eve of his toughest ever task – finish solo runner-up or better in his seventh and final sponsors invite of the season to keep his US PGA Tour dream alive.

The 18-year-old needs a grandstand finish at the Memorial Tournament, with a lone second place required to be eligible for more invites this year, while a top-10 finish at Muirfield Village would only grant him another start.

But Jason Day has come to the rescue of his fellow Aussie, offering a substantial compliment – and Muirfield Village practice rounds courtesy of the world N0.1’s membership at the Ohio club.

“Ryan has a bunch of talent, even more talent than I had at the same age,” Day said.

“I had him out on course last Sunday and I did my best to impart some advice. Hopefully he can have a good week and keep moving towards being out on tour on a permanent basis.”

Victorian native Ruffels, who had a glittered amateur career and maintains friendships with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, has been attempting to earn a US PGA Tour card courtesy of sponsor’s invites this year.
His best finish was recently at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T20) and he has made cuts at the Farmers Insurance Open and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Combined with three missed cuts, Ruffels’ earnings stand at $100,802 – or 80 FedEx Cup points.He will need a number similar to last year (103) to gain a start in the end-of-year Tour play-offs where 25 US PGA tour cards are awarded.


“I’m not panicked,” he said. “Sure I’d love to play great this week and not have to worry about it but if I don’t I won’t get too stressed.

“I feel my game is good enough and I know I need to be patient with it because sooner or later it is going to click.”