Higginbottom leading Keperra

Dual rounds of 67 has Jake Higginbottom at 10-under-par for a stroke lead over Daniel McGraw at the Keperra Bowl in Brisbane.

Higginbottom is fresh off his victory last week at the Queensland Amateur Championship where he defeated Tim Hart, 2&1, to add to his New South Wales Amateur title he collected last year with a 3&2 victory over England's Tommy Fleetwood at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

With his momentum on a roll the Novocastrian, who plays out of The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, proved that consistency is the key towards being in position at these National Selection events as he sets his sights on another main amateur title.

"I said coming into this event that you need to fire four rounds well into the 60's to have a chance," said Higginbottom.

"My game is at a level where I feel comfortable with scoring and I'm more consistent on the course. As I get older I'm learning and being more strategic on the course."

As a 15-year-old Higginbottom qualified for the NSW Open and in 2006 he won his age group in all 25 Jack Newton Junior tournaments he played.

"This is probably my third year out with playing golf seriously," says Higginbottom, who's currently ranked 55th in the world.

"I was able to get off to a good start here in Keperra and it's again great to be in contention against the guys."

Higginbottom credits his new coach, Gary Barter, from The Australian Golf Club for his recent fine run of form.

"I've done an awful lot with Gary Barter at The Australian Golf Club in preparation for these events and with moving forward," says the 17-year-old Higginbottom.

"There's a low score out there and it's just a matter of keeping the ball on the fairways and sinking putts. I'm driving the ball the best I have for a while and are hitting fairways."

Opening round leader, Steven Slappendel, slipped back to be in a tie for 15th place after a disappointing second round 6-over par 78.

Corey Crawford is three strokes back from Higginbottom in outright third after he managed a 4-under par, 68, to be 7-under for the tournament.

A big mover of the day was Victorian, Rory Bourke, who played well last week at the Golf SA Classic to finish in 3rd position behind Daniel Bringolf and tournament winner Brett Drewitt.

Bourke represented Australia at the recent Ashes Series against the English at Elanora Country Club in Sydney and fired a second round 4-under-par, 68 to be in a tie for 4th, along with Michael Smyth, Daniel Bringolf and Marika Batibasaga.

The cut of top-70 and ties came in at 5-over par.

Current Australian Stroke and Boy's Champion, Cameron Smith, finished right on the cut number with rounds of 74-75 to make the closing rounds.

Australia's former number 1 world ranked amateur, Ryan McCarthy, who's return from injury also made the desired top-70 with rounds of 73-69, to be at 2-under-par and in a tie for 15th.

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