Golf: Pickin makes strong start in NSW Junior Open

SOLID: Jye Pickin is second after the first round of the NSW Junior Open.

SOLID: Jye Pickin is second after the first round of the NSW Junior Open.

CHARLESTOWN’S Jye Pickin is two strokes off the lead entering the second round of the NSW Junior Open on his home course on Wednesday.

Pickin, 17, opened with a three-under 69 at Belmont on Tuesday to trail Queensland Louis Dobbelaar, who made the most of the benign early conditions to post a stunning 67.

Starting on the 10th hole, Pickin was nervous early but finished strongly with consecutive birdies at his 15th and 16th holes.

Josh Bell (Bonnie Doon), Ben Stieler (Queensland), Lachlan Chamberlain (Federal) and 13-year-old Jeffrey Guan (Australian) are tied for third at two under.

Monica Johnson (The Australian) finished her round with three straight birdies to lead the girls by two strokes.

Pickin leads the 17 years age division. Camaran Walton (Kurri) is tied for third at three over.  Jacob Dundas (Toronto) carded a 75 to be second in the 14 years boys and is the only other Hunter player in the top three of their division.