12 Apr 2023 | Amateur golf |
Jang, Hinton on top at #AusJnr
by Martin Blake
Sydney teenager Ann Jang and Queenslander Wes Hinton are the halfway leaders at the Australian Junior Amateur in Hobart after brilliant rounds today.
Jang, 15, who plays out of New South Wales Golf Club, made four birdies and an eagle without a blemish in her second-round 67 today to reach eight-under par overall and a commanding four shot lead in the girls’ championship.
She was ninth in the national championship last year and is no stranger to success, having won the NSW Junior Amateur in 2021.
Meanwhile 16-year-old Hinton, who plays out of Keperra Golf Club just north of Brisbane, carded a second-round 68 with six birdies to reach eight-under overall and he holds a two-shot lead in the boys’ championship.
The highlight of the day for Jang was her eagle at the par-five 16th hole after a brilliant 200-metre shot in with a hybrid and a long-range putt that dropped.
“It was a really good round for me,” she said later. “Everything was fine. No three-putts today! The course is good, and I’m happy with my score.”
Jang emigrated to Australia from South Korea with her family when she was 11, momentarily moving to the Central Coast before shifting back to Sydney, where she has been a key member of a winning New South Wales pennant team.
Her closest challenger at four-under par is the first-round leader, Kiwi Eunseo Choi, who added an even-par 73 today to her opening 67. Avondale's Rachel Lee is at one-over after carding a 74 today.
Victorian star Molly McLean is at even-par after rounds of 75-71.
Hinton’s leap into the lead in the boys’ tournament may have surprised some since he is not even in the Queensland team for the Golf Australia Junior Interstate Series, also in Tasmania, next week.
“It’s been pretty average, to be honest,” he said after his second round. “But I got here, I like the course, changed my set-up a little bit, and I’m playing well.”
His biggest tournament win was the Cameron Smith Junior Classic at Wantima late last year.
Today Hinton played the back nine first in one-under par, but birdies from close range at the first and second holes set him up, and he rattled through the front nine in 32.
Hailing from Keperra he has a close link with Australian touring professional John Senden, who comes from the same club as well as the same school, Mt Maria College. “I’ve met him (Sendon) a few times, played with him as well, and he’s a lovely fellow,” said Hinton.
His lead is two shots from two Kiwis – Cooper Moore and Zackary Swanwick along with Victorian Rupert Toomey – at five-under par overall. Western Australia's Joseph Buttress is also in the mix at four-under.
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