A testing Southport layout has drawn a line in the Australian Boys’ Amateur field with only seven players breaking par during the first round today.
Mount Lawley product Jordan Jung made the most of an early morning start with an impressive six-under-par 65 to lead a host of rising stars heading into the second day.
Despite feeling “a lot of nerves” during his first visit to the sunshine state, the 2018 runner-up credits his sound putter.
“I tried to keep it steady today and it worked out pretty great,” the 16-year-old said.
“Putting was a big part of my round. Mainly I placed it in the right spots and even if I missed, I made good up-and-downs.
“Last year was my first time playing in the Australian Junior and I came second. It gave me motivation and confidence that I have the skills to perform.”
South Australia’s Harrison Burner shares second place with Queensland’s Jordan Rooke after both shot 67 to open their Junior accounts.
Kazuma Kobori was the best of the afternoon field with a three-under-par 68 to match WA’s Josh Greer. But if the New Zealander’s recent record is anything to go by, Kobori has unmatched confidence.
Just last month the 17-year-old won the NZ PGA on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia against a high-quality professional field.
But it gets better.
Starting with the Southland Strokeplay championship (NZ event) in January of this year, Kobori has added a further six World Amateur Ranking events and trophies to his cabinet in the space of three months.
“The fact that I played four rounds under par (at NZ PGA) was definitely something I haven’t done before which gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.
“I’m trying to play a bit smarter coming into 2019, not firing at any tucked pins. I’m playing a bit more conservatively and it seems to be paying off.
“The greens are always pure out here (in Australia) and you don’t always get that in NZ.”
Queensland state representatives Elvis Smylie and Max Ford round out in the players in the red at one under the card.