Jay­den, 13, in se­niors comp

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - JARED NICOLL

‘‘If you have a bad cou­ple of holes, just know that there's heaps of holes to go. I'm quite a calm sort of per­son most of the time.’’

Some of the coun­try’s top per­form­ers will soon be check­ing over their shoul­ders at 13-year-old golf­ing talent Jay­den Ford.

The Porirua teen will com­pete as part of Welling­ton Golf’s se­nior men’s team against North­land at Man­gawhai Golf Club in North­land on June 10.

It’s a new fix­ture on the rep­re­sen­ta­tive cal­en­dar, added as the team be­gins their cam­paign to again be­come na­tional cham­pi­ons in De­cem­ber.

Jay­den, a Year 9 stu­dent at St Pa­trick’s Col­lege Sil­ver­stream, is one of Judge­ford Golf Club’s bright prospects hav­ing im­pressed at the NZ Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship at Royal Welling­ton last year.

His big­gest strength go­ing into the com­pe­ti­tion, he said, was his youth.

‘‘Just hav­ing the mindset to learn. At the end of the day, we’re all hu­mans.’’

Men­tal re­silience was a big part of his suc­cess.

‘‘If you have a bad cou­ple of holes, just know that there’s heaps more to go. I’m quite a calm sort of per­son most of the time.’’

Once hail­ing from the same club that pro­duced Michael Camp­bell, and with mother Izzy a for­mer rugby Black Fern, Ford has sport­ing knowl­edge be­yond his years.

He first swung a club at age three and ap­peared in The Do­min­ion Post at six when pre­par­ing for an age-grade comp in San Diego. Jay­den was back in the US last year, win­ning two tour­na­ments in the Ju­nior World Age Group Cham­pi­onship se­ries.

‘‘The trick­i­est part is prob­a­bly just be­ing able to han­dle bad tour­na­ments.

‘‘[It’s about] know­ing what I can im­prove on for next time, but that’s all work in progress, and re­al­is­ing fail­ure’s just part of suc­cess.’’

Along with longer ses­sions at week­ends, he prac­tises a cou­ple of hours ev­ery­day af­ter school in win­ter, and un­til night­fall in sum­mer.

Judge­ford Golf Club man­ager Dud­ley Asi, who helped de­velop Jay­den’s game, said: ‘‘He was a ju­nior, now he’s a man. That’s a big step. Jay­den does all the hard work ... we didn’t hes­i­tate to put him in there.’’

In July, Jay­den will at­tend a na­tional ju­nior train­ing camp in Christchurch at the in­vi­ta­tion of NZ Golf.


Jay­den Ford, 13, has been se­lected in the Welling­ton se­nior men’s team to play North­land in June. Jay­den Ford

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