Date: November 26, 2013
Author: Golf Australia

Greenside interview with Ryan Ruffels

Greenside at The Emirates Australian Open Royal Sydney Golf Club with Ryan Ruffels RYAN RUFFELS Q. What was it like practising with Rory? RYAN RUFFELS: Rory&aposs so relaxed, just very happy to help once again, which was great for me, being able to ask so many questions and him being so eager to help. Even questions I hadn&apost even asked, he just was trying to help me out. so that was great. Q. What exactly do you do then? What will you take away? RYAN RUFFELS: We talked quite a bit about preparation, preparation for different sorts of tournaments. We talked to Steve Williams last night for the Golf Australia squad. We talked a bit about preparation as well. I think that&aposs the key to a lot of good players, is how they prepare for tournaments, the different ways people prepare for tournaments, depending on who you are. It&aposs good to hear how Adam prepares, Rory prepares, how Steve prepares as a caddy. It&aposs just been pretty eye opening to see what things that we do similar and the things that they have in common as well, being some of the best players in the world. Q. What do they have in common? RYAN RUFFELS: The main thing is how, Adam said he gets up three hours before he tees off and Rory the same. I would never have thought of that. Everyone seems to do – they do all their preparation before the week happens. So Rory most probably doesn&apost even play a practice round normally, he plays the Pro-Am, same with Adam. All the work is done before the tournament starts and once the tournament starts it feels like it&aposs nothing to be fixed now. Whatever you&aposve got, is what you&aposve got that week. They don&apost wear themselves out with practice rounds or anything like that. Q. Did you ask him about his love life? RYAN RUFFELS: No. We didn&apost quite get to that, we only played 12 holes. Q. That was the question for the 13th hole? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah [LAUGHS] Q. You&aposve probably always had a professional future as a dream, has it really been cemented by these last couple of weeks? RYAN RUFFELS: I grew up playing tennis and now golf. I wanted to be a sports player. Sports was always part of my life and it&aposs all I&aposve wanted to do and for the last five years golf has been it. But to see these guys on TV and then actually get to play with them, it&aposs pretty cool to see where I&aposm at compared to them. It definitely solidifies it that I want to play like they do. Q. How do you get involved in golf when you come from a tennis family? Just all round sportsmen, were you? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, both my parents really enjoy golf, even though they were professional tennis players. They really enjoy all sports, so Dad plays quite a bit of golf and I guess growing up I kind of tagged along with him a little bit and I used to think it was for old people, golf. I found it quite boring but I don&apost know, something clicked and I&aposve never looked back I guess. Q. Does he have a single figure handicap? RYAN RUFFELS: I think he was, I think he might be up to about 10 or 11 now. Q. Did you harbour dreams about being a professional tennis player and winning Wimbledon? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, I guess when you&aposre younger, I was only about eight, nine, 10, I was going to play in tennis and I guess your dreams are quite big when you&aposre eight, nine, 10. I guess I never really thought about it too much. I was just kind of playing but I&aposve always wanted to play a professional sport of some sort. Q. Your sister is a very good tennis player as well. RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, she&aposs only 13 but she&aposs one of the best, if not the best 13 year old in Australia at the moment rankings wise for tennis. We definitely come from a bit of a sporting family. Q. Does it come with pressure? RYAN RUFFELS: No, not at all. Both my parents, it&aposs great having them being professional athletes, because they understand the mentality of sport, the mentality of just being around a sporting field, which is very helpful when you come to events like this and just growing us up as athletes. Q. Was there a moment or a tournament when you were young when you decided golf was going to be the sport you&aposd pursue? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, it was actually, I grew up a little bit in Southern California and I played a tennis tournament in the morning and lost pretty comfortably, I think 6-0, 6-0 or something like that. Then Mum signed me up for my first golf tournament in the afternoon and I shot a one under and came second. I don&apost know, I was kind of like, this is pretty cool, I can play pretty good at this, so I started eventually kind of got into it really seriously. So I was pretty much not playing too much tennis anymore and just golf. Q. What age was that? RYAN RUFFELS: I think I was 10 when that happened. Q. Where was it? RYAN RUFFELS: In Southern California in the United States. Q. You mentioned it&aposs good to see how far you are from these blokes, how far are you? RYAN RUFFELS: I think they can hit a lot further than me at the moment. I think I can keep up with them with short irons, chipping and putting. I think I putt just as good as almost all of them, but here&aposs definitely, I think with golf I think it&aposs how good your bad shots are and at the moment their bad shots are a little bit better than mine. I think when I hit a good shot and Rory hits a good shot, they&aposre pretty similar and I think everyone else in the field&aposs like that. But it&aposs just a matter of cleaning up the bad ones and tightening the misses a little bit more. Q. So being able to play with them, have you learnt that you&aposre closer to them than you had originally thought? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, with Adam last week, I didn&apost play very good at all. I was kind of embarrassed, I was. Today I played actually really good. I hit a lot of mid irons into a couple of feet and I was making a lot of birdies out there today. It was good to see how my good golf compares to – I guess Rory&aposs not playing his best but he&aposs starting to play a lot, lot better and it was good to see I wasn&apost that far behind him today. I was about 50 yards behind him off the tee but it was good to see that my good golf is pretty close to his. Q. Did you keep the score? RYAN RUFFELS: No we didn&apost, not today. Q. How would you have gone do you think? RYAN RUFFELS: I don&apost know, I played pretty good. It&aposs tough to know. I kept up maybe, I don&apost know. Q. Is humanising these guys the biggest step? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, I think at the Aussie Masters last week I was a bit – I think I made it a bigger deal than it actually was and it showed in my score in the first eight holes. I was pretty nervous and that made it too big of a deal. But I think playing with Adam in Wednesday, playing with Rory today, I think it just goes to show, they&aposre just people. They&aposre just really good at what they do; nothing to be scared of. If I play like I did today I can match it with them. I&aposve just got to do that for four days. Q. What are your hopes for this weekend? RYAN RUFFELS: I don&apost know, I don&apost really like to set performance goals. You never know how you&aposre going to hit it on the first tee and you never know how you&aposre going to be hitting it on Friday or Sunday. You never actually know. Generally my goal is to get the most out of each round. I take it as it comes. If I&aposm not hitting it great, then making the cut might be a good result but if I&aposm hitting it really, really good and sinking a few putts, I could try and get myself up into contention. I feel like I am hitting it good so I feel like if I can keep this going I can get up there this week and hopefully mix it with them. Q. Rory played here when he was about 17, did he give you any insight into what he was going through back then? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, he said you&aposre like me, just nine years younger, which is pretty cool, I wouldn&apost mind being like him [LAUGHS] He said he played here in 2006 or 2007 I think it was. He said he played here as a 17 year old and he was going through the same things. He said his first few professional tournaments he was quite nervous and didn&apost perform as good as he could of but he obviously, as soon as he turned pro when he was 18, I think he won a professional tournament over in Europe, which he just said you&aposve just got to take advantage of these opportunities but not put too much pressure on yourself. It&aposs all about just enjoying it and if you enjoy it you&aposll play well. I think that&aposs a pretty fair comment, so I&aposve just got to keep doing that. Q. Who are you paired with? RYAN RUFFELS: I don&apost know, I don&apost even know if the draw&aposs out yet. Generally it comes out Tuesday afternoon, so I think somewhere pretty soon. Q. Did he give you his number or anything? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, I got his number, so pretty cool. It looks pretty good when you&aposre scrolling down the Ms in your phone and you see Rory McIlroy [LAUGHS] Q. Can you share it? Did Adam give you his number as well? RYAN RUFFELS: No I didn&apost. As soon as the round finished he went out to do autographs. Q. Do you hope to get that one as well by the end of the week? RYAN RUFFELS: It would be nice, yeah. Q. And Jason Day? You might as well do the trifecta. RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, I might as well get everyone. Q. When he gave you his number, what did he say to you? RYAN RUFFELS: Just very helpful, just anything – I think I&aposm doing a clinic with him tomorrow, so that will be great to just keep the relationship up with him. Q. He just said if you need anything give me a call or how did it work? RYAN RUFFELS: I don&apost really know. I haven&apost tried to call him yet. Q. When he gave you his number he must have said something? RYAN RUFFELS: Yeah, just if you need anything, feel free to ask me and stuff like that. Hopefully use it to follow on Twitter or something [LAUGHS].