Vest tackles Desert Golf Shootout

Vernon's Ryan Vest smacks a drive at the Desert Shootout in Phoenix.
— image credit: photo Submitted

Ryan Vest was about four when he began rattling off everybody worth mentioning on the PGA Golf Tour.

He was also a splendid shot-maker on the golf course. He has played with his father, Jeff, and older juniors for years.

Ryan, who turns eight on July 16, hit the big-time a few weeks ago when he played in the 2014 Desert Shootout at The Wigwam Golf Course in Phoenix.

It was a regional tournament where he received Orange Status which enables him to qualify for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship Tournament to be held in Pinehurst, N.C this summer.

Vest had not played a round of golf since October and this was his first, two-day, nine-hole tournament for his age division (7).

He shot 44-38-76 to finish in a three-way tie for fifth place to receive his first golf trophy. He shared third with Vinny Cervantes of Chandler, Ariz. and Samuel Duran of Panama City.

“Playing in a tournament was very challenging but my favorite thing was that I was proud of myself for shooting a 38 on Sunday and getting a trophy,” said Ryan, a Grade 2 student in the Montessori program at Silver Star Elementary (his teacher is Nigel Maccagno.). “It was a great day.”

Vest played with Max Thomas of California and Duran, the second- and third-ranked seven age-group players in the world for 2013.

His Sunday score was the third best of the day, beating both Thomas and Duran. Thomas tied for second at 76 with Arden Bunch of Georgia.

Michael Nardone of West Palm Beach, Fla. took the title with a 72 in the field of 15.

The tournament was an awesome experience for Vest as he golfed with boys of the same age and  calibre. He and Thomas became friends and they even played nine holes together at The Wildfire Golf Course just three days after the tournament.

“A special thank you must go to A.J. Eathorne of Predator Ridge for the donated shirts and hats and Todd Graham of Golf Town for the unlimited use of their golf simulator and putting green,” said Jeff Vest, who caddied for his son.

Another one of Ryan’s favourite days (aside from the tournament) was playing nine holes at TPC Scottsdale (Championship Course). He played from the ladies red tees and shot a 42.

“It’s a beautiful course and I can’t wait to go back and play it again,” said Ryan.

Ryan currently has two favorite golfers, the first being Adam Scott “because he won the Masters last year against Angel Cabrera and because Adam has the same birthday as me.”

Ryan’s also cheers for Phil Mickelson and has given him the nickname Philbert.

“I like Phil because he has a great attitude. He never gives up and he is always smiling even when he misses his short putts, which he does a lot.”

Ryan will be playing in upcoming tournaments with the Junior Linkster Tour that are held in various cities throughout the Lower Mainland.

He is registered to play in a two-day match play tournament at Newlands in Langley, during spring break. He is looking forward to the Callaway Junior World Qualifier in May and the U.S. Kids World Qualifier tournaments.

Ryan also gets support from his mom, Laurie.


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