Two Australians remain in the mix for their respective titles after the third round of the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Championship near San Diego.
Canberra’s Josh Armstrong fired a superb six-under-par 66 today at La Costa Resort and Spa to remain in contention in the boys’ division in third place.
And Melbourne’s Gabi Ruffels signed for a two-under-par 71 to leap into a share of fourth in the girls’ competition.
Their showing is part of a bold run by the Australian contingent with four boys in the top six and six in the top 11, while Gold Coaster Issy Taylor remains comfortably inside the girls’ top 10.
Armstrong, a recent addition to the Golf New South Wales high performance program, poured in nine birdies in an entertaining round that left him at eight under in total, seven shots behind leader Charlie Reiter (68 today) at -15.
Another Californian, Kaiwen Liu (67), sits second at -10, with Perth’s Ben Ferguson (68) and Melbourne’s Cameron John (72) tied fourth at three under.
Brisbane’s Louis Dobbelaar (71) sits sixth at one under, while fellow Queenslanders Lochlan Coleborn (74) and Jediah Morgan (69) are T11 at seven over.
Adelaide’s Lachie Barker found his true form today, shooting a 71 to scythe through the field and reach T20 at nine over.
Ruffels had worked her way firmly into contention before closing with an unfortunate double-bogey.
But she’ll have to run down a strong Taiwanese contingent above her with Jo Hua Hung (-8) and Swinging Skirts representatives Tze-Han Lin (-8) and Hsin-Yu Lu (-4) all above Ruffels’ -2 platform.
Taylor’s 72 brought her up to two over in total, while Western Australia’s Kathryn Norris fired her best round of the week – a 72 to reach seven over and 15th place.
Adelaide’s Ella Adams fell from contention with an 80, but remains in the top 20 at 10 over.
The winner of both divisions will win a place in their respective Australian Open fields in 2017.