Tauranga-based Mark Brown and Chantelle Cassidy have enjoyed their opening round of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour season to hold the overnight lead at the John Jones Steel Harewood Open.

Brown has carded a round of four-under 68 on a cold Christchurch morning, while Cassidy continued her dominance at this event with a two-under par round of 70.

The experienced Brown did not enjoy the cold, but it did not take long for his golf to come hot.

"It was good and bloody cold starting out, these old bones need warm weather so I really struggled to get moving early, but warmed up as we got into the back nine," said Brown.


He will be aiming for back-to-back victories on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour after winning the season finale at the Tauranga Carrus Open in May as he looks to push for higher honours this season.

"I really want to finish well on the New Zealand Order of Merit. I haven't won it for a very long time, so that is one of the goals this year and it's always good playing on this tour.

"I am also very proud to be an ambassador for the Movember Masters series which is currently being rolled out around the country, a fantastic charity supporting men's health, so it's an exciting time and I'm looking forward to the next few months ahead."

The chasing peleton just one shot behind features a name we haven't seen in New Zealand for some time with amateur James Anstiss returning to New Zealand to compete in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

The Christchurch bred amateur will play in the biggest event in his career on October26 at Royal Wellington Golf Club where he aims to earn a ticket to both The Masters and Open Championship.

After recently graduating from South Eastern Louisiana University, his solid round of three-under par was a great way to start his home campaign.

Joining him at three-under are Harry Bateman and Jennian Homes Charles Tour veteran, Richard Lee.

Bay of Plenty pros Kieran Muir (Omokoroa) and Victor Janin (Rotorua) are well placed after two-under 70s.

In the women's field, it's business as usual for two-time Harewood Open champion Chantelle Cassidy as she strides out to an early four-shot lead over local hope Amelia Garvey and Subin Wui.

Cassidy was the only player to break par with her two-under round and already looks in control to capture her third title at this course.

Other than starting and finishing with bogeys, Cassidy once again proved why she is the country's leading amateur and seems to have a love-affair with this golf club with four birdies on a day where low scores were rare.

Tomorrow's tee times start from 7.45am.