Tauranga golfer Kieran Muir has had a change in mindset ahead of a busy year on courses around the world.

The 31-year-old Ōmokoroa Golf Club member says he has not made any major changes to the technical side of his game or his strength and conditioning regime.

"If anything I have had a shift in mindset – changing my priorities, finding a better life balance and removing the anxieties tied to results. Subsequently it has allowed me to play with more freedom," Muir says.

Muir had just a week between tournaments in China and Papua New Guinea in what is a busy 2019 schedule.

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"The remainder of the season looks to be a lot busier in China as a result of the first two events up there. I will fill in the gaps with events throughout Australia and New Zealand. I've always wanted to play in Europe. This hasn't changed and I'm still working towards this along with a few items outside of golf."

Muir shot a solid seven-under-par at the Papua New Guinea Open, which concluded on Sunday, at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club to finish in a tie for 22nd. He was 11 shots behind winner Peter Cooke of Australia, while Tauranga golfer Hayden Beard scored four-over-par for his four rounds.

Muir started the tournament well, carding six birdies in the first round.

"The course certainly suited my style of play and matches my strengths - driving the golf ball and putting inside 15 feet. I was excited about the golf course from the first look entering the gates."

He shot 68 in the second round before a 75 and a 70 to finish and it followed from a second placing in the Shenzhou Peninsula Open in China three weeks ago. Muir had rounds of 67 on days two and three, bookended by scores of 72 and 70 to finish in a tie for second place – four shots behind winner Maverick Antcliff of Australia.

"It was certainly a performance I am proud of. I have been playing well this year and progressing nicely. With this in mind I knew if I stayed patient, sooner or later, the output would reflect the input.

"After the first two events I'm sitting fourth on the CGA order of merit. This tour has some pathways into Europe and Asia, so looks like I'll be spending some more time in China working on my mandarin. The success so far has helped me gain entry into the KEB Hana Bank Invitational which is a big event on the Korean Tour in early June."