Jake Hughes cuts a pitch from a very sandy lie in Alice Springs today.
The hot score was continued at the Red Center during the second round of the Northern Territory 2019 Amateur Championship at the Alice Springs Golf Club today.
Queensland teen Cassie Porter, a Peregian member on the Sunshine Coast, closed a ladies' stranglehold after a five-under-68 – including an eagle in the par-five second for the second consecutive day – plus six other birdies.
With an eight-total total of 138, the 16-year-old defending champion leads through no fewer than seven strokes of The Australian Golf Club & Stefanie Hall midway through.
Round of the day ladies and new Alice Springs course went to Kelsey Bennett, of St Michaels, with a seven-under par round of 66.
After an 80 on the opening day, Bennett tore around the back half in just 30 strokes to go back to equally par ale and third place.
Thinking after the round on the difference between her first and second day around the Peter Thomson designed layout, Bennett said: "I was just so relaxed today. It was great to play with Cassie (Porter) and Stef (Vogel) and we just talked about non-golf gear all day.
"Nan in Sydney will be so excited," said the clearly satisfied 19-year-old, originally from Mollymook on the South Coast of NSW
One day after clubmate Alex Brennan led the men's championship, another Alice Springs member, Jake Hughes, took the lead thanks to a bogey-free 67.
Hughes, an NT representative who now resides in Melbourne and plays at Kingston Heath, is eight-under-136 after 36 holes, two strokes away from Sydny's John Lyras, who fired a 70 to sit at 138.
Glenelg's Ben Layton and Zach Maxwell from Royal Queensland share third place in fourth and remain well in the hunt with two more laps to go.
A winner of the South Australian Amateur in 2017, Hughes, 24, has yet to win his amateur title.
"It is a great ambition for me," he said after his round.
"I have previously won the NT Close part of this event, but not the main title."
With a previous personal best score of eight-under around his original home course, Hughes was particularly happy with his two-day effort.
"It is the first time that I have had a bogey-free round everywhere, so shooting 67 was really pleasant in this case."
The third round of the NT Amateur, first played in 1970, takes place on Saturday from 7 a.m. (Australian Central Standard Time).