Jayden Ford (Silverstream) charges into third at Junior Open at St Andrews

He met Jordan Spieth and finished third against some of the world’s top under-16 golfers at St Andrews, Scotland.

You could say it’s been a memorable week for Wellington 14-year-old golfer Jayden Ford who will head to Carnoustie to cheer on compatriots Ryan Fox and Mike Hendry at the Open Championship.

Ford carded a two-under-par final round of 68 at The Eden course at St Andrews to finish the 54-hole tournament three-under. He was two shots behind South African winner Martin Vorster, who had a shot to spare over runnerup Tsubasa Kajitani of Japan.

“I’m very happy with my week here in St Andrews and I really enjoyed playing this type of links golf and it was a great experience. It was pretty surreal to be playing here and playing well too,” said Ford, who snapped a selfie with defending Open champion Spieth earlier in the week.

Ford emerged from the same Titahi Bay club as US Open champion Michael Campbell, and made his name when he finished third against the country’s best players as a 12-year-old in qualifying for the New Zealand Amateur at Royal Wellington in 2016. Last year he made Wellington’s senior rep team.

The biennial Junior Open, a traditional curtainraiser to the Open Championship, invites all golfing nations affiliated to The R&A to enter their best under-16 boy and girl golfers. This year drew 142 players from 78 countries.

Canterbury’s Juliana Hung finished her week 59th after a challenging three rounds.

US Masters champion Patrick Reed was one former winner, in 2006, while Open champions Spieth and Rory McIlroy played in the tournament as youngsters.

– Stuff