13 Apr 2021 | National Championships |
Halls, Wong shine early at #AusJnr
by Golf NSW
New South Welshman Jye Halls and Victorian Jeneath Wong had a day to remember in the opening round of the 2021 Australian Junior Amateur at Gold Creek Country Club.
Halls, in Year 11 at Ulladulla High School, carded a six-under 66 to lead the boys' championship, while Wong, from Metropolitan in Melbourne, carded a blemish-free 67 on a spectacular autumn morning in the national capital.
Halls sits one shot ahead of Toronto's Jake Riley, while South Australian Nicholas Siegmund is another shot back in third. Jeffrey Guan of The Australian, in Sydney, and Victorian Nathan Page are tied for fourth at three under.
"It (six under) is not my lowest, I have had a nine under and a couple of seven under (rounds) before, but it still felt good to shoot a low number," Halls said after Tuesday's round.
"I just took it one shot at a time, I don't think about it too much."
The highlight of Halls' day was his chip-in eagle on the third, which the 16-year-old parlayed into an impressive three-under opening nine.
"I hit a three-wood just short of the green and paced it out like I was looking at a putt," he said. "When I hit the chip, I thought it was short at first, but it kept rolling and went in; it was a good start to my round."
Halls consolidated his good start adding even more red to his card with birdies at the 11th, 14th, 15th, and 16th to get to seven under, before an unfortunate bogey on the penultimate hole slowed his high-flying effort.
"I was trying to make one more birdie coming home but three-putted the 17th," he said.
"I had a chance to get it back on the last, but the putt just missed."
Melburnian Wong leads the female field by two shots from Queenslander Justice Bosio.
A trio of girls sits another shot back at two under - Victorian Molly McLean, Queenslander Norika Wakayama and Rachel Lee from North Ryde in Sydney - while Sheridan Clancy, from Western Australia, and Michelle Di Natale, of New South Wales, are also in red figures at one under.
"Five birdies and no bogeys, that's pretty good," dual Riversdale Cup champion Wong said.
"It's only my second round bogey-free. It would be really cool to win, I'm in my second last year of juniors."
Shot of the day, though, went to South Australian Jade Kinita.
The Glenelg member was all smiles after she aced the par-three 12th with a solid eight iron from 122m.
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