Jayden Ford wins in Tauranga
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.