Residence: Peachtree Corners, Ga.
High School: Rivers Academy
College Commitment: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
WAGR® 18-and-under Ranking: No. 7 (as of 7/7)
Accomplishments: 2021 AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods Runner-up. 2020 Rolex Tournament of Champions Winner. 2020 Junior PLAYERS Championship Winner. 2020 Wyndham Invitational Winner. 2019 E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship Winner. Two-time Rolex Junior All-American.
David Ford is one of the most decorated players in the 264-man field at the U.S. Junior Amateur. In the past two years, he has finished inside the top-10 a total of 15 times, including wins at the 2020 Rolex Tournament of Champions, 2020 Junior PLAYERS Champion, 2020 AJGA Invitational at Sedgefield Championship, and 2019 E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship.
The future Tar Heel has been nursing an injury since February, but is back to playing his best golf, coming off a successful 4-0 week at the Wyndham Cup in July. This will be David’s first U.S. Junior Amateur, and it’s the one that he has wanted to win for a long time.
How does the U.S. Junior Amateur rank compare to other tournaments you’ve played?
“I’ve never played in the Junior Amateur before, but I’ve heard all about it. I have hopes that it will be my favorite event ever. It’s definitely the one that I want to win the most out of any tournament I’ve ever played in.”
What are the best parts of your game?
“The driver is usually something that keeps me from not shooting over par, but it depends on the day. Usually, if the irons are off, then my putter and driver are hot, but if I can’t make a putt, then I’m hitting everything to five feet. There’s a lot of different ways to shoot 63.”
What do you know about the Dogwood and Cardinal courses?
“I’ve played each course about a total of eight times. I played during the spring and the greens weren’t crazy fast or tough, but I played in the summer of 2020, and I had four three-putts through eight holes and the greens were the fastest that I’ve ever played. I know that the USGA will have the greens playing very fast. Also, my friend Jackson Van Paris said that the rough gets long, so I imagine that it will be healthy and long and you’re going to have to drive it straight.”
How does your injury feel?
“My body feels okay. It’s not amazing, but it’s not the worst. I’ve only played two tournaments in the past five months, but my game feels good. I was probably 75% at the Wyndham Cup in early July and still went 4-0 in match play. Even if I’m not 100%, I have faith that I can win 6&5 over everybody or medal in stroke play. I’ll just have to see how I feel when I get to Pinehurst.”
What would it mean for you to be the U.S. Junior Amateur Champion?
“It’s something that I’ve thought about for a while because I was feeling really good at the beginning of 2020. Then, the U.S. Junior Am got cancelled, and I was so upset because I really felt like I was going to win that tournament. It’s so great to be able to play in one again. It would mean everything to end junior golf on a high like that.”
*David’s identical twin, Maxwell Ford, will also be competing in the U.S. Junior Amateur.
By Taft Gantt