With only one crown but plenty of opportunists, tomorrow’s #AusJnr boys’ finale is set to be electric.
Harrison Crowe and Kazuma Kobori are two of the many names at the pointy end of the leaderboard, sharing the top spot at four under after two rounds at Southport Golf Club.
But with 36-holes still between the eventual champion and the trophy, history has shown anything can happen.
Crowe, a member of St Michael’s Golf Club, started the day seven shots back but hot putter quickly ignited his chances.
“My putting was the difference (between the two days),” he said post-round.
“I struggled to hole and hit many good putts all day yesterday. I was really patient today and a few of them dropped. I didn’t really make many mistakes (today).”
Last month’s NZ PGA champion Kobori had a tumultuous day featuring an opening eagle and a heart-breaking triple bogey.
“Well I shanked it off the tee, thought it hit the tree and dropped down,” Kobori described of his seven.
“Then I hit a range ball about 10ft away from my real ball. Walked up and realised I hit the wrong ball. Walked back and hit my real ball.
“The ruling was to continue playing the ball (the original ball that when it was found) with a two-shot penalty. I then hacked it out onto the fairway, because the ball was basically embedded, hit it to 10ft and missed it.
“And that’s how I made a triple.”
But even a general penalty didn’t stop Kobori from regaining his composure and a share of the lead.
“I was pretty angry with myself, but I knew it had nothing to do with my game. I knew I was still playing well and I knew I could still make birdies and come back.”
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Southport product Elvis Smylie utilised his home course knowledge to shoot a three under opening nine. However, Elvis momentarily “left the building” on the back nine stumbling with back-to-back bogies on 10 and 11.
True to the King, Smylie returned with a birdie on 17 to finish two under for the day and nab the final spot into tomorrow’s top group.
Overnight leader Jordan Jung, of Mount Lawley in Western Australia, struggled early in his afternoon round with a double and two bogies in his opening four holes.
The WA junior state representative returned a three-over-par 74 but remains within striking distance following his opening six under round.
Queensland duo Tyler Duncan and Bailey Arnott are a further shot back at two under.
In addition to winning the national junior title previously held by Jason Day, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith, – all who will compete at this weeks’ masters – exemptions into the men’s Australian Open and IMG Academy Junior World Championships are also on the line.
The cut was set at +9 with 66 players advancing to tomorrow’s 36-hole final. Play begins at 6:40am (AEST) at Southport Golf Club.