If he’d got a chance to play the course beforehand, like his competitors, Ryan Vest’s results may have been higher.
Still, the soon-to-be Grade 6 student at Silver Star Elementary finished fourth in a field of 101 in the 9-10 boys division at the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championship in San Diego.
“The airline lost his golf bag so he didn’t get to play a practice round,” said Vest’s father, Jeff, who caddied for his 10-year-old son in the 54-hole event at the Carlton Oaks Golf Club in Santee, a bedroom community of San Diego. “He got his clubs back just in time for the start of the tournament.”
Having never played the course, Vest opened with a 3-over 75. He got better the next two rounds, firing 71 and 70 (one off the low round of the day) to finish at even-par 216 and alone in fourth place.
The event was won by Thailand’s Ratchanon Chantananuwat, who fired rounds of 68-72-71 to finish at five-under 211, three shots better than countryman Supapon Amornchaichan and Vancouver’s Ryan Liang, a good friend of Vest’s.
“The two Ryans play together quite a bit,” said Jeff. “It was cool to see them and another Canadian (Alex Long) finish in the top-eight.”
Long was seventh overall at four-over 220.
Vest is a junior member with the Predator Ridge junior elite team, coached by Brodie Carle.
The Junior World Golf Championship began in 1968 and now features players competing from a six and under division to 15-to-18-years-old.