Jay­den Ford wins in Tau­ranga

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

From the Pine­hurst No 2 to Omoko­roa, Jay­den Ford has had a lot of dif­fer­ent grass un­der his feet in the past year.

The Whitby 12-year-old, who at­tends Rangikura School, re­cently won the AIMS Games golf ti­tle by four shots.

Played over four cour­ses around Tau­ranga, he ad­mit­ted he wasn’t at his best, but his two mid­dle rounds of 73 and 76 were enough to get him home.

‘‘I was a bit rough and didn’t do a lot of prepa­ra­tion,’’ he said.

Fol­low­ing fast on the heels of fel­low Porirua golfers Michael Camp­bell and Daniel Hil­lier, Ford is the na­tional cham­pion in his age group and made the cut for the un­der-19 champs at Nel­son Golf Club ear­lier this month.

Hil­lier won the un­der-19s and Ford fin­ished a cred­itable 63rd, the youngest player to beat the cut line.

‘‘I didn’t go with a set goal and was happy to make the cut.

‘‘I played re­ally well the first day [a 75] and it was great to play against these other play­ers at that top level.’’

While many golfers might have ap­pre­ci­ated time away from the game over win­ter, Ford was do­ing the op­po­site, com­pet­ing in the USA in the Ju­nior World Age Group Cham­pi­onship se­ries.

He won his age group for the FCG In­ter­na­tional, came in 22nd in the IMG Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships, played at Tor­rey Pines and then won the FCG World Cham­pi­onship.

He also fin­ished 11th at the US Kids tour­na­ment.

His ef­forts meant he brought home two tro­phies as well as some new golf bags.

‘‘It was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially see­ing how guys my age from around the world are play­ing the game.’’

A mem­ber of the Judge­ford in­ter­club team, he is look­ing for­ward to a good sum­mer around the Welling­ton cour­ses and get­ting his 1.6 hand­i­cap down to a scratch.

Mak­ing Welling­ton in­ter­provin­cials is one goal, but he gives a de­ter­mined look when asked what his longer-term ob­jec­tives are.

‘‘I just want to keep get­ting bet­ter and my aim is to be the best golfer in the world.’’

Ford won a Porirua Youth Award last week, as did Hil­lier.


Jay­den Ford in ac­tion for Rangikura School dur­ing the re­cent Aims Games.

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