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#NSWJnr Wrap: Picken and Park win NSW Jnr

Picken and Dobbelaar
CHAMPION: Louis Dobbelaar congratulates Jye PIckin after his win in the NSW Junior at Charlestown Golf Club today.

Jye Picken and Hye Park have taken out the NSW Boys and Girls Championships at Charlestown Golf Club today.

On a day that was perfect for scoring it was always going to shape up to be a celebration for Picken. Starting with a seven-shot lead, he was able to extend it to double digits early in the afternoon. 

Birdies on the 4th and 5th put the result beyond reach if it wasn’t already, with only the margin of how many in doubt. After turning for home with a front nine 35, Picken added three more birdies and a solitary bogey to post his fourth sub-par rounding as many days. HIs four-round score of 12 under par 276 was 13 shots better than the runner-up, Queensland’s Louis Dobbelaar.

FINAL ROUND PHOTO GALLERY

The win is the first major title for the 17-year-old and a fitting way for him to close out his time in the junior ranks.

“There were some nerves on the first tee, but I made birdie early which calmed me down, and it flowed on from there.

“It was terrific to see the members walking around here on my home course, really good to see “ Pickin grinned. 

Pickin was thrilled to know he will now tee it up alongside a few of his club mates at Charlestown, including PGA Tour members Jake Higginbottom, and James Nitties as well as NSW State team representative Blake Windred in November’s NSW Open at Twin Creeks. 

“It feels really good after trying to make it a few times and missing out, really good. Third time lucky,“ 

Before then, it will be back to studying for the year 12 student, something he is happy to do.

“It will be back into the books for a while, but I have a few weeks off after my exams finish to prepare, so I’ll be ready,” he smiled.

Hye Park
VICTORY: Hye Park is hugged by her good friend June Song after her stunning win in the NSW Junior.

Park shoots sublime 65 to win Girls Crown

Hye Park has taken out the NSW Girls Championship after firing a stunning eight under par 65 in the final round at Charlestown Golf Club near Newcastle.

On a day when all the stars aligned for the 15-year-old, her final hole eagle in front of the gallery on the last hole underscored how remarkable her round was.

Park started the day five shots in arrears of third-round leader Monica Johnson and announced her intentions early with back to back birdies on the first two holes.

Hye Park
INCREDIBLE: Hye Park looks at the gallery in disbelief after holing out for eagle on the final hole.

With two more birdies on the front nine and Johnson struggling, the tournament was anyone's as the final group turned for home. Playing in the last group alongside Park and Johnson, Cassie Porter grabbed the lead with four holes to go. However, a double bogey on the 16th saw the edge go to Park.

A birdie on the 17th gave Park a two-shot buffer, and when the eagle dropped on the last, all her opponents could do was applause.

RESULTS: NSW Girls Championships - Charlestown GC

Park was thrilled with the victory after her round. “I was lucky,” she smiled.

When asked about her final hole eagle, Park couldn’t hide her joy.

“I was really happy to hole out. It came as a surprise to everyone, myself included.”

Hye Park
THE ZONE: Hye Park carded an incredible 65 in the final round of the NSW Girls Championships at Charlestown Golf Club

Although not the biggest win of her young career, The reward of a start in the 2019 Women’s NSW Open at Queanbeyan Golf Club is a prize she is definitely looking forward to.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said when asked if she had thought about the opportunity and how she will fare against some of the best players on the ALPG and Ladies European Tour.

“It will be a test, but I think I will do well. I want a career in golf.

"One day hopefully I will go to America and play on the LPGA Tour,” she added.

 

Jye Pickin
DOMINANT: Jye PIckin has a seven shot lead with just one round of the NSW Junior to go

Bye Jye, it’s Picken by seven

For local favourite Jye Pickin, victory in the NSW Junior Championships is close enough to taste.

The 17-year-old who grew up in Charlestown is sitting on a commanding seven-shot lead with just one round to play after posting a third round two-under-par 70 in testing conditions this afternoon.

“It was tough out there early, with the wind.

“A bit of local knowledge got me over the line today.

There was a couple of shots which saved me,” Pickin said.

Pickin began the day with a two-shot lead over The Australian’s Jeffrey Guan with Queenslander Louis Dobbelaar another shot back. He was out of the blocks quickly with birdies on the first fourth and seventh to extend his lead to five shots as his playing partners struggled to stay in touch.

BOYS LEADERBOARD

PHOTO GALLERY

With the lead increasing, it was very apparent to the gallery following the final group that Pickin was going to be tough to chase down as the day wore on.

With a comfortable lead, the battles were going to be mostly within for the NSW State Team captain. Back to back bogeys on the 9th and 10th proved enough of a warning for the 17-year-old, and when he rolled a birdie in on the 14th, all was back to normal.

“I missed a couple of greens early on the back nine, and I didn’t get up-n-down, but then I pulled it back with a birdie on 14.

“I rolled in a good putt. It calmed me down a bit, and I closed it out with a few pars to finish the round,” he added.

With one round to go, the confident Pickin isn't afraid to talk about what winning the championship will mean. With a start in the Tier I ranked NSW Open at Twin Creeks this November on offer to the winner, he said it had been on his mind since the day the entries opened.

“Once I saw (the place in the NSW Open to the winner) come out I was excited to get underway.

“It’s been in the back of my mind all week.

“I’ve never played the NSW Open. I missed out on qualifying last year by a couple of shots and by a couple of shots the year before as well.

“It will be my maiden Open. My first start in a pro event.

“It will be a big step for me,” Pickin smiled.

Monica Johnson
TEST: Monica Johnson said the Charlestown layout was a real test today.

Johnson by two with one to go.

Monica Johnson holds a slender two-shot lead heading into the final round of the NSW Girls Championship at Charlestown Golf Club.

On a day when swirling winds got the better of most of the field, Johnson dug deep and grafted her way to a 77, while her third-round playing partner, Queenslander Cassie Porter, put together one of the rounds of the day, a three-under-par 70.

“It was a bit of a grind; it was definitely harder today.

“I didn’t hit as many greens today as I did in the first two rounds. I had to make a lot of up-n-downs which I didn’t really do,” Johnson said.

Johnson started her round in solid fashion with six straight pars. The problems began, however, when she double bogeyed the 7th. She quickly compounded the error with back to back bogeys on the 8th and 9th holes to turn in four over par. A settling birdie on the 11th helped steady the ship, but two more bogeys on the 13th and 14th made things tough. 

“My back nine was better than the front,” the 16-year-old said. 

Johnson clawed a shot back with a much-needed birdie on the 17th before making a regulation par on the 18th to cement her lead.

“I felt a little bit of pressure out there today, but I just tried to focus on my own score instead of what the others were doing around me."

Johnson said she was happy to have kept the lead at the end of the day and was looking forward to tomorrow’s final round where she will be alongside Porter.

“I’m very keen for tomorrow.”

“We are all friends so it should be good,” she smiled. 
 

Jye PIckin
HOMETOWN HERO: Jye PIckin leads by two in the NSW Jr

Pickin flies at Charlestown

Home-town hero Jye Pickin has fired a four under par 68 at Charlestown Golf Club to take the lead at the halfway stage of the NSW Boys Championship.

Trailing overnight leader Louis Dobbelaar (Queensland) by two strokes, Pickin started slowly with a bogey on the first hole of the day. But that must have woken the local up, who reeled off three birdies and a spectacular eagle over the next five holes to seize control of the tournament. Another two birdies and two bogies on the back nine saw the 17-Year-old sign for the low round of the week at Charlestown and head into the final 36 holes with a two-shot lead.

Two strokes back is the rapidly improving Jeffrey Guan of The Australian Golf Club. The 13-year-old is once again impressing on the big stage. After coming close to claiming the Illawarra Junior Masters only a few months ago, Guan backed up his opening round 70 with a three-under-par 69 at Belmont to hop right into contention. Guan made an impressive six birdies on Wednesday, with his round matched by playing partner Jye Halls of Mollymook GC who also fired a 69.

Overnight leader Louis Dobbelaar (Queensland) dropped back to four under par with a disappointing 73 on day two, while a trio of Queenslanders sits a further three shots back. Ben Stieler, Mitch Varley and Lewis Hoath are the only other players under par. All are sitting at one under par through 36 holes.

The cut for the NSW Boys Championship fell at 158 (+14).

Monica Johnson
FAST FINISH: Monica Johnson grabbed the lead in the girls division after three late birdies

Johnson rolls on to a six shot lead

Monica Johnson of The Australian Golf Club has extended her lead to a whopping six shots in the NSW Junior Championships after carding a second round 71.

On a day where course records tumbled, Johnson backed up her opening three under par round at Charlestown with another solid three under par round on the new Belmont layout to extend her lead.

GIRLS LEADERBOARD

IN second place is Victorian Kay Bannan who matched the tournament leader with a three-under-par 71, her round highlighted by seven birdies.

Defending Champion June Song (Avondale) rocketed up the leaderboard with a four under par 70, which was potentially a course record for 30 seconds. Playing partner Cassie Porter came to the last hole (the ninth) also at four under par, however, before a birdie gave her a five under par 69 and the new course record all on her own.

Local girl Makensie Toole (Belmont) also impressed her host club members on Wednesday, a three-under-par 71 keeping her in contention for the Girls 17 Years State Age Division.

The 50-strong girls' field shifts back to Charlestown GC on Thursday and Friday for the final 36 holes. 

 

Louis Dobbelar
LEADER: Louis Dobbelar fired a five under par 67 to lead after day one of the NSW Junior

Dobbelaar leads NSW Jr

Louis Dobbelar has taken a giant first step towards claiming back to back Junior titles with a superb opening round 67 in the 2018 NSW Boys Championship.

After drawing Belmont for the opening round with the rest of the 15-16-17 year old boys, Dobbelar took advantage of benign conditions on the traditionally windy layout to shoot to the top of the leaderboard. 

The Queenslander got off to a fast start with birdies on his opening two holes, the 11th and 12th, but bogies on 12 and 14 slowed the 16-year-old down. From then on, the 2017 JNJG International Champion was faultless, picking up five birdies to take the lead at five under par.

Lurking only two shots behind the leader is home-town favourite Jye Pickin (Charlestown) after a tidy three under par 69. The NSW Boys team captain finished fast with back to back birdies on the 6th & 7th (his 15th & 16th) to climb up what is turning out to be a packed leaderboard. 

One shot behind Pickin is a host of players including Josh Bell (Bonnie Doon), Ben Steiler (Queensland), Lachlan Chamberlain (Federal) and 13-year-old superstar Jeffrey Guan who joined the older boys at -2 after shooting 70 at Charlestown.

Guan's round of 70 was the only under par round in the Boys 13 & 14-year-olds who played at Charlestown on Tuesday, with all players now swapping courses ahead of the second round today.

The shot of the day belonged to Catalina's James Dickinson, the 15-year-old recorded the first hole in one of the tournaments on the par three 13th at Belmont GC.

 

Johnson impressive in Rd One

Monica Johnson has shot to the lead at the NSW Girls Championship after an incredible finish to her opening round at Charlestown Golf Club. 

The 16-year-old NSW State Junior Team member was cruising along at level par on a day when many struggled before her putter finally caught fire late on the back nine.

The Australian Golf Club representative picked up birdies on the 15th, 17th and 18th holes to take the lead, finishing with a three-under-par 70. 

Lion Higo (Queensland) was also impressive on day one, carding a one-under-par 72 in a round that contained five birdies to be two shots back. 

The 15 year old is no stranger to the top of a JNJG leaderboard, having won the 2016 Ballina Junior Masters as a 13-year-old. 

The two girls have broken away from the rest of the field, with Amber Thornton playing in her final NSW Junior Championship ending the day in outright third after back to back birdies saw her finish with a 75.

 

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