Youth Olympian Jimmy Zheng has produced another career highlight to finish lead qualifier at the New Zealand Amateur Championship after a round of five-under 67 this morning at the Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary.

Zheng was going unnoticed until he sparked into gear making five birdies in six holes through the middle of his round to rocket up the leaderboard. Conditions also helped the 16-year-old with the wind picking up along with flushes of rain.

Zheng who is having a year to remember after producing a magical round of 12-under 60 at the North Island Stroke Play Championship, followed by a trip to Buenos Aires to compete at the Youth Olympics is excited about the next phase of the prestigious event.

"Its my first time playing in the New Zealand Amateur, so its definitely something I was hoping to get into and its a great feeling," smiled Zheng.

"Im a lot more confident and shooting low scores is helping that. I learnt a lot from the Youth Olympics and although I have only played pennants match play I cant wait for tomorrow."

Mark Hutson and James Hydes ended the day in a tie for second at a total of five-under par with Matt McLean a further one-shot back with an impressive round of five-under par today to build his confidence entering the match play stages.

It was an interesting end to the day with Johnny Tynan, Junior Tatana and Wonjae Heo all playing off for the final spot in the top 32. It was nearly just two of them with Heo eating dinner at the time before he rushed back to flush his tee shot and it took four holes to split them all with Tatana claiming the final spot booking a match with Zheng at 7:15am.

Jack Turner has also finished in style to record an eagle of 18 to sneak inside the cutline on the number. The son of New Zealand Hall of Famer Greg Turner, recently won the Otago Match Play Championship which shows he is in good touch and will be interesting to watch tomorrow.

Koreas Kum Kang Park has come to New Zealand to show us the way as she claims top spot after two rounds of qualifying with New Zealands Juliana Hung just one-shot behind.

With rounds of 68 and 72, Park showed great consistency in todays challenging conditions and will now play Amy Im who snuck into the final place.

Hung, who also featured at the Youth Olympics alongside Zheng, was playing safe and steady golf today to secure the second seed with Miree Jung a further one shot back.

The womens field has a mouth-watering line up in the final 32 which includes defending champion Silvia Brunotti who looked very comfortable today with a round of even-par to finish in ninth place.

FULL MATCH PLAY DRAWS HERE
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ