New Zealand’s Jayden Ford is enjoying a bit of ‘bonus golf’ and will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Avondale Amateur following a blistering third round six-under-par 65 at Avondale Golf Club.
Ford admitted this week at Avondale and next week’s NSW Amateur were a bit of ‘bonus golf’ after receiving an invite to play in the Australian Master of the Amateurs last week at Victoria Golf Club.
However, the bonus has come with a caveat: Due to COVID border closures, the Wellington native isn’t sure when he’ll be able to get home.
“I thought I would stick around make the most of the opportunity. Obviously, I’m not sure when I can get back, but I’m not too phased though, I can think of worse places to be,” Ford grinned.
After starting the day five back of the leader, Pennant Hills’ Andrew Richards, Ford wasted no time making his move, birdieing the first to start his day. Four more on the front nine at the 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th saw him out in just 31 strokes, and into a share of the lead.
With the ever-changing weather testing the patience of many, the 18-Year-old Kiwi kept the foot down, adding two more birdies on the 10th and 12th to grab the outright lead at seven-under.
Back-to-back bogies on 13 & 14 seemed to slow the juggernaut, and when he rolled in his 8th birdie for the day on the par-four 17th, the third round lead looked safely in his keeping.
“I like the course. It’s nice and tight, and the greens are rolling good. It’s a good test.” he explained post-round.
“I got out of the gates good, then made a few pars. I stumped it quite a bit and rolled couple on the back nine, then finished strong with a bird on 17 and par on 18.”
Overnight leader Richards had an up and down day, swapping a couple of birdies with a couple of bogies on the front nine to turn for home at five under.
A birdie on the tricky par-four 16th was enough for the current NSW Amateur Champ to regain a share of the lead at six-under, but sadly, a bogey-bogey finish wasn’t how Richards would have wanted to end his day.
Bonnie Doon’s Jackson Rogan and Local hope Jye Pickin are tied for third, another shot back at three-under, while Jasper Stubbs and Christopher Somerfield round out the top five at minus two.
While readily admitting there “wasn’t much’ in his playing CV, Ford said he was looking forward to repeating today’s effort in tomorrow’s final round.
“It’s going to be great, I’m looking forward to it. Going to chill a bit this afternoon and then get a good night’s sleep and have some fun tomorrow.”
In the Women’s Avondale Bowl, Western Australian Kirsten Rudgeley holds a one-shot lead over Shyla Singh after carding a second one under par 71.
Rudgeley is at one-under total with Singh at even and Queensland’s Justice Bosio another shit back at plus one.
Second-round leader Jenneath Wong had a day she might prefer to forget, carding a five-over 77 to fall back to 4th place at two over.
The Australian’s Brielle Mapanao is the best of the local hopes at four-over, in 5th place, with Belinda Ji tied for 6th alongside Caitlin Peirce.