HOME-TOWN hero Jye Pickin has a two-stroke lead at the halfway point of the NSW Junior Championship at Charlestown.
Pickin, playing on his home course, fired a four-under par 68 to move to seven under and two strokes clear of The Australian’s Jeffrey Guan (70,69).
First-round leader Louis Dobbelaar is third at four under after faltering with a one-over 73 on Wednesday.
Pickin made a horror start, with a bogey at the par-four first, but quickly made amends.
He carded three birdies and a spectacular eagle over the next five holes to seize control of the tournament. Two birdies and two bogies on the back nine saw the 17-year-old sign for the low round of the week.
Guan, who is only 13, again impressed on the big stage. He backed up an opening round 70 with a three under par 69 at Belmont, which featured six birdies.
Queenslanders Ben Stieler (70,73), Mitch Varley (71,72) and Lewis Hoath (71,72) are the only other players in the red at one-under par.
Kurri Kurri’s Camran Walton (75,75) is tied for 15th and the only other Hunter boy in the top 20.
Monica Johnson (The Australian) went three under for a second straight day to lead the girls championships by six strokes.