Campbell, Campbell and Chung clutch in Christchurch

By NZ Golf

New Zealand professionals Ben Campbell and Joonsang Chung lead the John Jones Steel Harewood Open after round one with impressive rounds of six-under par, 66 while Alanna Campbell leads the womens field with a dominant five-under, 67.

Campbell and Chung both made the most of the calm morning conditions to set the pace in the second event of the new Jennian Homes Charles Tour season to lead by two strokes over established professionals Mark Brown and Pieter Zwart.

Former Charles Tour winner Campbell, who returns from a successful trip to the Fiji International where he earnt a top 25 finish, was pleased with his opening round of the campaign after starting slow in recent tournaments.

"It was nice to come out of the gates hot, the last few events Ive had a few over in my first round so its nice to come out strong and not have to chase coming home. I hit well and holed what I needed to hole so its a pretty pleasing start," said Campbell.

Surprisingly in his first outing at the Harewood Golf Club he had a bogey free round which included six birdies, it was a clinical start for the 26-year-old from Masterton.

"Its my first time here actually, so my first round was the pro-am yesterday and loved it, so its a good test of golf and some nice sloping greens."

Campbell who is now based in Queenstown has been plagued with injury over the past two years, so to see him at the top of the leaderboard once again is a good sight for golf.

"My game has been feeling pretty good over the last couple of weeks and I have been working pretty hard so its nice to come back from injury and have the game where you want it and not trying to search so much."

Chung who won for the first time on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour last year also finds himself at the top of the pack as he searches for his second title. After a slow start he carded a whopping eight birdies to get himself in a great position after day one.

"It wasnt the easiest of golf courses out there, but I came out with a good score after an opening bogey so Im pretty happy," said Chung.

"I was happy but my partners werent enjoying my boring golf that was simply fairway, green, hole but I had fun out there with my group and hopefully I can continue that tomorrow."

"Ive been working on a few things; I have recently got a new set of irons as well which seem to be working. But its no secret my form has been up and down, up and down and hopefully it all comes together this week."

After day one its easy to notice the quality of golfers near the top of the leaderboard with Brown being an obvious threat alongside Muriwai Open champion Pieter Zwart at four-under. They are followed by a wealth of experience in the form of Daniel Pearce (-3), Brad Shilton (-3) and Josh Geary (-2).

In the womens field, Alanna Campbell makes her first appearance of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour this season and in style. A run of five birdies in a row helped her to card the low round of the day (67) to lead by one shot.

After not playing in Taranaki you could sense Campbells excitement to be back on the national tour.

"Its great to be back in action and playing well after watching Taranaki from the sidelines a couple of weeks ago," said Campbell.

"Obviously I went on a good streak through the middle of my round and nearly made eagle which was fun and set up the good score."

Sitting just one shot behind on a score of 68 is Miree Chung and Rose Zheng. Chung flew up the leaderboard in fine style with a spectacular hole in one on the 13th.

This is a strong field this week with Cantabrians littered throughout and will be hunting a hometown victory. Two-time defending champion, Chantelle Cassidy has some work to do if she is to three-peat after a solid even par round.

Once again the field will tee off at 7:30am and most likely conditions will not be favourable.

For full Harewood Open leaderboard:

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ

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