Ford is in overrdrive back in golf ’s amateur ranks
ADRIAN FORD is back in the amateur fold after an unsuccessful stint as a professional golfer.
Once considered to be one of South Africa’s brightest golfing prospects, Ford never quite realised his potential, hence his decision to return to the nonpaid ranks.
And quick dividends have been yielded; the Durbanville Golf Club member contested the Western Province Premier Amateur Tour’s (PAT) Parow Open and won with a total of nine-under-par 135, with the highlight being his secondround seven-under 65.
It was his first event after skipping the Bellville Open won by Dean Robert Pilkington on his home course.
Chris Wicks of Durbanville, after two top-five finishes, tops the current rankings on 131.50 points, with Pilkington, who finished in a tie for 14th last time out, next best on 118.50.
Rian Lewis (Bellville) closes out the top three, while Ford (89) lies in sixth spot.
The players contested the Westlake Open last weekend and in-form Chris Wicks of Durbanville prevailed after defeating Elton James in a playoff for his second PAT title.
The PAT was launched in 2011 to give WP’s leading players a platform to showcase their skills in a competitive environment.
The late Michael Sherriff was crowned PAT champion last year with a record winning points total. He won four events which tied the mark set in the same season by Royal Cape Sean Bradley, who has since joined the pro ranks and done okay in the few tournaments he’s played.
Sherriff, 19, was tragically killed in a car crash over the Easter weekend.
Ford, 30, spent seven years in the paid ranks. In 2009, a year before making the crossover, he was SA’s top amateur and was ranked 25th in the R&A World Amateur Rankings.
He was tipped for a big career after he won the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the 2008 South African Open.
But, for one reason or another, he never reached his full potential. Just the odd top10 finish would have opened his mind to the realities of pro golf, where nothing less than scores well below par will do.
“Lack of sponsorship probably hurt my cause the most,” Ford said. “It costs a small fortune getting to tournaments on a weekly basis and this is made that much more challenging by not earning enough money.
“Over time I lost belief in my abilities and the passion for the game started to dwindle. So, after years of going nowhere, I made the decision to re-join the amateur ranks and it’s proven to be the right call. I’m enjoying playing again and that winning feeling from yesteryear has returned.”