Each week, Bloomfield Patch features students doing amazing things in their schools and in their communities. This week's Whiz Kid is a rising young golf star who shot an average of 71.5 for 18 holes this past scholastic season.
- Age: 16
- School: Seaholm High, Birmingham
- Achievement: This attention-earning Bloomfield Hills golfer recently was designated "Mr. Golf" for 2011, the top boys' award from the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association. Ruffino is the first student to win as a sophomore, the grade he just completed, and Seaholm's first winner in the award's 25 years.
- Key to Awesomeness: Ruffino is nationally ranked on the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) circuit. At his latest event in Sunriver, OR, he finished in a three-way tie for 32nd place in the invitational Rolex Tournament of Champions for teens. That's where he was when Seaholm coach Leon Braisted III called with news of the statewide honor.
"He’s awesome. He’s got a bright future," the high school coach said June 9 after the teen shot a 3-under par 69 at Lyon Oaks Golf Course in Wixom to earn Division 1 regional medalist honors and qualify for the state finals for a second year. At the season-ending tournament June 18, he finished third with a 2-under-par 70. In 2010, Ruffino was second at the Division 1 finals, four shots behind the leader.
Seaholm's rising star has a busy summer of golf. Up next is a three-round AJGA tournament July 25-28 in Kansas City, featuring 96 players. Following that come an Aug. 1 local qualifier at Oakland Hills Country Club's North Course for a U.S. Golf Association amateur tournament. "I have a big summer coming up with a lot of big events," Ruffino told Patch sports writer Mike Niziolek last month. "And I’ll use this as something to get my game where it needs to be."
Do you know our next Whiz Kid?
Bloomfield Patch welcomes suggestions for students, youth groups and even sports teams who wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or email the information to editor Art.Aisner@patch.com. Please include all these details:
- Nominator's name
- Whiz Kid's name and age
- Whiz Kid's school
- Whiz Kid's accomplishment
- What makes him or her successful