Ryan Vest’s runner-up finish in the B.C. Juvenile Boys Golf Championships at Gallagher’s Canyon in Kelowna last Thursday has moved him into a pretty special group.
Vest, who just turned 12 and has been beating players three and four years older than him for years, lost a one-hole sudden-death playoff to 16-year-old Jace Minni of Delta (Beach Grove GC) in the provincials.
“He made a really long 40-foot putt for a birdie and I was 30 feet away and I missed by two feet,” said Vest, a Grade 7 Silver Star Elementary School student coached by Brodie Carle at Predator Ridge Golf Resort. “I’m now in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.”
Vest is now listed 5,864 on the planet. The World Amateur Golf Ranking for men was introduced by the R&A, the governing body of the sport of golf outside the U.S. and Mexico, in January 2007. It is based on the results of more than 2,600 amateur tournaments per year (and amateurs participating in certain pro events) and is updated each Wednesday.
Rankings are based on the players’ average performances in counting events over a rolling period of 104 weeks.
Minni tied for 22nd at the B.C. Junior Boys Championships in Kamloops back in early July and three weeks later finished 31st at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in Medicine Hat.
“I had never seen him play before,” said Vest, who registered the most birdied (14) while shooting rounds of 72-69-75 to tie Minni at 216.
“I chipped in three times in my first round; they just rolled in,” said Vest, who smacks his driver an average of 250 yards. “I have never done that before.”
He says Carle has helped him boost his overall game from a year ago, adding 25 yards to his driving distance and fine-tuning his short game.
Dylan Bercan of Vancouver (Marine Drive) and Leo Harper of Burnaby Mountain shared the third spot in Kelowna, one shot back of Minni and Vest.
Vest will play in the 28th Annual Hillview Golf Course City Junior Tuesday. He won the U11 division title and placed third overall last year.
Registrations for the tournament will be accepted at the Hillview pro shop through Sunday.