The final round of the Boy’s Division at the Australian Junior Amateur is set to be a thriller after a day of contrasting fortunes for several of the leading contenders.
Ulladulla’s Jye Halls, who plays his golf at Mollymook and New South Wales Golf Clubs, is still the player to beat, but his lead has been pared back to a solitary shot after carding a two-over 74 in trying conditions at Gold Creek Country Club.
Looming large is Halls’ NSW Junior State team counterpart, Jeffrey Guan, who carded a respectable two-under effort to vault into second place.
Nicholas Siegmund from the Grange in South Australia is in third after an even-par effort, while Toronto’s Jake Riley is in fourth place after the round of the day, a four-under 68.
Western Australia’s Aldrich Potgieter (-2) and Victorian Nathan Page (-1) are the only other players in the boys who remain under par.
Although happy to have kept the lead, Halls was rueing several lost chances in today’s round.
“It was pretty hard,” Halls said post-round. “There was a fair bit of wind, the greens got hard to read and a bit bumpy.”
“I had a few three-putts and played a few dumb shots off the tee as well.”
Regardless, Halls was still happy to hold the lead and concentrate on what he will need to do in tomorrow’s final round.
“I’d rather lead. At least I still have one shot advantage. I can make a mistake early and still be in contention.”
“I won’t think about it too much, maybe some pizza tonight, sleep well and come out and hit a few balls tomorrow,” halls added.
Halls nearest Challenger, Jeffrey Guan, wasn’t entirely thrilled with his two-under effort but happy to be in the final group and in with a big chance of snaring the national junior crown in tomorrow’s final round.
“I hit every green from the 8th, but the putts just didn’t want to go in,” Guan said.
“If I can keep the pressure on Jye, I think I can make some birdies and get to the front.”
In the Girls’ Division, Victorian Jeneath Wong looks headed for a wire-to-wire win.
Despite carding a two-over 74, the dual Riversdale Cup champion has maintained her four-shot buffer and is the only female in the field in red figures for the tournament.
” I didn’t play very good. The greens are getting harder to read.
“I made a few mistakes, missed a few short putts.”
When pressed about sleeping on the overnight lead, Wong said she wasn’t phased by it at all.
“I’ll just do the same thing I’ve done everyday, keep it one shot at a time.”