HORSESHOE BAY – Nick Costello carded a flawless 6-under-par 66 on Saturday to take the lead in the South Amateur presented by Impact Precision Golf. The Austin native navigated Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Slick Rock Course with relative ease on moving day, using six birdies to post the low round of the tournament and reach 9-under through 36 holes.

Costello followed his 3-under 69 from the opening round with a bogey-free performance in round two. He did all of his damage in the first 12 holes, reaching 6-under for the day after a trio of birdies starting on No. 10.

“I was just trying to shoot lower than I did yesterday,” Costello said. “I know I left some out there.”

Costello has not been pleased with his swing this week, calling his ball-striking “messy,” but his short game has propelled him up the leaderboard. His course knowledge has also been a key to his success. The former Austin Westlake standout and current Texas Longhorn is very familiar with the Hill Country course.

“I used to play some junior tournaments out here,” Costello said. “I know what scores are usually good out here and what usually wins, so I have a target (score) set for each round.”

A trio of capable players lurk just two shots behind Costello at 7-under par. Jake Goodman, of San Antonio, recorded six birdies and just one bogey on the day as he shot 67. Austin’s Henrik Olsson followed his 69 from Friday with a bogey-free 68 in the second round. And 2013 South Amateur champion Tony Soerries posted 69 to join the party at 7-under.

This tournament is only Soerries second competitive event of the year, and he wasn’t sure what to expect coming into Friday. But his competition experience has shown as he has played himself into contention heading into Sunday.

“I’m sure I’ll be nervous, but I’ve got a lot of years under my belt. I should be able to handle it,” Soerries said.

Another shot back sits Robert Quinilty, of Cyrpress, and Tim Hamm, of Austin, at 6-under par. Hamm used a strong back nine where he recorded four birdies to keep himself in the mix. Trevor Sauntry, of Houston, is another shot back.

In all, 15 players sit within seven shots of the lead, including Andrew Jacobe, the leader after 18 holes. Jacobe struggled to get any momentum going on day two as he battled to a 1-over 73.

The final round of the South Amateur begins at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Click here for tee times, scoring and additional information.