Jye Halls has produced a pair of withering come-from-behind performances to cement his position in tomorrow’s all-blue final of the NSW Amateur Championship.
Halls survived a cliffhanger in this morning’s quarter-final against Avondale’s Chris Fan, who had the Mollymook and NSW GC tyro on the ropes at four up after five holes. Halls didn’t appear phased, however, and after clawing his way back into the contest, he ended Fan’s hopes with a birdie-eagle finish to claim his morning match one up.
“I guess this morning I didn’t start the best, “Halls said.
“I was four down early, but towards the end, I started holing some good putts, and the birdie eagle finish was really good.”
The afternoon semi-final was no less an enthralling affair, and Halls again had some work to do after falling to two down through ten holes against Queensland’s Quinnton Croker. The 17-year-old is made of some stern stuff, and he erased the deficit with a withering run of birdie, par, birdie, par, birdie, birdie, birdie finish to walk away with the victory, 2&1.
Hall said his afternoon effort was a little different, and at two down at the turn he admitted it was a change in mental approach which proved pivotal.
“After nine holes, I thought just treat the match as square again and forget about the past.
“I missed birdie on nine, but from there I holed everything.”
“I felt really comfortable over pretty well every putt today.”
The confidence, he admitted, came from swapping his flat stick out for a trusty older model a few weeks ago.
“I got this one about two or three years ago. I wasn’t putting the best with a new one, so I swapped it a couple for the trusty old one, and it seems to work. I’ve found some magic.”
Calling Halls a comeback king might be going too lightly on 17-year-old Halls; he putts like he has ice in his veins, and on his performance with the flat stick today, it’s clear he has a technique that compares to some of the best putters in the business.
Halls opponent in tomorrow’s final, St. Michaels’ Harrison Crowe, charted his path to tomorrow’s final in the polar opposite way to Halls, dominating both his matches from the outset.
Crowe accounted for Queenslander Chris Somerfield 5&4 in the morning quarters before taking out his good friend and state teammate Jye Pickin 4&3 in the semi-final.
“It was quite nice. I played pretty faultless golf. I don’t think I dropped a shot until the 12th hole this afternoon.”
Hall said he didn’t find it particularly hard to back up pressure rounds, especially in matchplay format.
“There’s less things to worry about, it’s just one-on-one, beat the other person by playing better golf, that’s it really. You get off to a good start, build momentum, and it’s that momentum which gets you home.”
All Queensland Women’s Final Set
Top seed Sarah Hammett and Southport’s Shyla Singh will battle it out for the NSW Amateur title in the women’s division after winning both their matches today.
In her morning match, Hammett had too much class for Moore Park’s Lucie Quilliam, before outlasting Victorian Keely Marx in the afternoon semi-final.
Singh took out Joondalup’s Madison Large, 5&4 in the morning quarters, before surviving a late comeback against local hope Kelsey Bennett in the afternoon semi, 1up.
Tomorrow’s NSW Amateur finals will begin tomorrow at 7.00 am, with the afternoon round to be live-streamed from 11.00 am.