New Zealands Mark Brown has bounced back into form after shooting a clinical seven-under par in the opening round of the Barfoot & Thompson Akarana Open on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
Brown carded an error-free round which also included an eagle three at the halfway stage to launch his opening round into a strong position.
"I was steady all the way through but to pick up an eagle is a big bonus, so that sort of got the round going and I birdied 18 as well which is always nice," said Brown.
"I had a great start and it was nice to get out early in the good conditions."
The Tauranga professional hasnt won on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour since his Carrus Open victory in 2015. The 42-year-old will be looking to end this run in Auckland and now has the perfect platform to do so.
Brown has played the game of golf for some time and made an amazing career from it, but recently he has been struggling to enjoy it, which was clearly a major goal this week.
"Its great to be playing the Jennian Homes Charles Tour again, I love these tournaments, but Im just trying to enjoy my golf because it hasnt been happening recently. I want to take a positive attitude into this week and really decide whether I want to be here or not."
One man who does have a very positive attitude is the current New Zealand Open champion, Mike Hendry who finds himself at five-under par and in a tie for third place.
This is Hendrys first event since his superb victory in Queenstown where he broke the 14-year drought of Kiwi winners at the New Zealand Open. A slightly rusty start did not affect him in the slightest and hes still very much in contention at this early stage of the tournament.
"It was a slow start and I had to grind out the first six, but I caught fire through the turn and finished with a birdie which was pleasing," said Hendry.
The Jennian Homes Charles Tour is providing a perfect launch pad for Hendry who has a busy schedule ahead on the Japan Tour.
"Its great to be here, I appreciate and enjoy playing these events. For me they are a great source of preparation before going overseas on tour and there are some very good players out there to test me."
In second place alone is Woonchul Na who carefully constructed an round of 64 to be just one back from Brown. After opening with a bogey, Na kicked into gear through the middle stages of the round with five birdies in six holes.
Na, whose best performance on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour was second place at the Taranaki Open in 2015, will no doubt be looking to go one better at the Akarana Open this week.
There were a few young guns who also put their hand up today with Canterburys Matt Mclean and Howicks Jimmy Zheng sitting in third place alongside Hendry.
It is turning out to be a tight affair in the womens field with Subin Wui recording a solid round of two-under par to hold the outright lead.
The Pupuke amateur made four sublime birdies throughout the day but sadly let two shots slip to finish just one shot clear of the ever lurking Alanna Campbell.
Campbell is no stranger to the top of a leaderboard on the national circuit and she may only have three chances left to earn another victory before she travels to America on a golfing scholarship.
Local golf fans will enjoy a luxurious sleep in before they get the chance to see our National Stroke Play champion Mark Hutson and New Zealand Open champion Mike Hendry tee off at 12:30pm off the first hole.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ