LATE CHARGE: Cameron John made a late indictment because of the gap on day one of the AVJennings NSW Open.
Western Australian Jarryd Felton and Victorian Cameron John have set the early pace at the AVJennings NSW Open, but have only a lead of just nine players on nine players.
Felton shot in the morning fields and fired 6-under 66 to hold a strong show for the West-Australian at the Twins Creek Golf and Country Club after finishing sixth in the tournament last year.
"Normally I do not make so many birdies, but I made them today, so hopefully I can keep it up for the next three days," Felton said.
"I had four birdies in a row, I probably birdied one of the hardest holes today, the par-3 14th and then got a bit of a run.
"I felt really confident about that piece and then lipped on the last one, so it could have been better, but I'm very happy with 6-under."
Today's performance also means a turnaround in shape with the flat stick for Felton, just in time for the last three events of the year at the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour or Australasia.
"Today I missed only one green, so I gave myself a lot of chances, they paid at the end of the day, I made some nice putts, my putting has been horrible lately, so it's nice to see how it's turns around, "added Felton, who rolled on the par-5 15th in a 40 foot birdie putt.
"The greens roll so well that you feel that you have to fit 30 footers, but they are also soft, so you can go to the flags.
"The course is softer this year, so you have much longer shots, but I do not think that makes much difference.
"I like this layout, it opens the tee but you still have to follow the right lines."
In the afternoon field rookie Pro Cameron John played at the age of 18 in a birdie putt and tied Felton at the top of the standings.
It is a solid performance for the 19-year-old who is currently injured to improve his place in the top 50 of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour or Australasia Order of Merit.
"The putter was pretty on fire today, I felt good in my game, but I struggled on Monday, I was not sure I was going to play," said John.
"I have a bulging disc in my back, so I've struggled with it, I could not have played without the help of Matt Green, the Tour physio
"Given my place in the Order of Merit, I have to play everything, so I played my fifth week in a row while I was injured
"I want to go to Asian Tour School at the end of the year, so it's a big advantage to be top 50, I'm 42nd now, so it's important to play well, the higher I end up with the Order of Merit , the more opportunities I get, the Aussie Tour is great for that. "
The Victorian PGA champion Aaron Pike, who arrived on the track just 10 minutes before his 7.15 am start time, shot 5-under the card to be one of the 10 players in second place.
"I had a difficult start today, Jack Munro with whom I slept through his alarm and my phone software was updated during the night and my alarm went off automatically, so I only came here in 10 minutes, it was not the best preparation, it was not a good look, "Pike said.
"But we are here on time, I'm not sure how Jack went, but I felt good and I played nice, I need a few balls to warm up, I'm going to buy an alarm tonight!"
Joining the log jam on 5-under the card was Matt Millar who earned the nickname of Mr. Consistent on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour or Australasia.
"I have a good understanding of my game and I am not trying to play outside, there are holes where it is tempting, and maybe a few years ago, I would have tried to make a crack, but now I take the safer option and make a birdie with less risk, "said Millar who recorded seven top-10 results including a victory starting from 10 starts this season.
"There are guys who pass 50 and 70 meters past me, Luke Brown with whom I played today, he hit an iron pass past my driver, it's a bit demoralizing from that point, but if I hit it right away, you can still score on most golf courses by doing the right percentage. "
Joining Pike and Millar in a draw for the third are Jake Higginbottom, Ashley Hall, Jordan Mullaney, Neven Basic, Jake McLeod, Scott Arnold and Blake Proverbs.
The second round of the AVJennings NSW Open will end at 6.45 with Cameron John on course at 8.05 and Jarryd Felton at 12.25.