We now approach the second event of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour, The John Jones Steel Harewood Open where defending champion, Daniel Hillier joins a strong field to showcase the strength of our national tour.

Hillier has had a year to remember and his maiden title against the professionals was one victory that he will hold dear to him.

The Manor Park local is excited about the challenge of being defending champion, but knows it wont be easy against such an experienced professional field.

"Its obviously a first for me on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour and its going to be an exciting week returning as the defending champ," said Hillier.

"I have had a pretty busy schedule recently so its hard to think too much about it. As I enter the Harewood Open this year my game has only got stronger, especially the mental side with my decision making."

Returning straight from one of the worlds biggest amateur events, The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Hillier has had no shortage of competitive golf and will be a serious chance to go back to back this week. Also returning from Korea is 2014 champion, Ryan Chisnall. The Harewood Open has seen four amateur winners in the past five years as the young up and coming golfers look to continue this run highlighting why the Jennian Homes Charles Tour is an important pathway for our rising golfers.

"Also coming off the back of the Asia-Pacific Amateur, this has filled me with a lot of confidence and I learnt so much after competing against the worlds best amateurs on one of the worlds best golf courses," mentioned the defending champion.

The 18-year-old from Manor Park will be in the feature group alongside the experience duo of Mark Brown and Daniel Pearce who will both be ones to watch in the Garden City creating a mouth-watering line up who will tee off at 12:10pm.

There will also be a strong contingent of players returning from the Fiji International where many Kiwis recorded very positive results.

Brad Shilton who is also in the field this week after recording his career biggest payday with an tied third finish ($78,000 NZD) in a tournament.

Josh Geary managed a tied twelfth finish which will hopefully have spark the experienced professional into form after a difficult time on the Web.com Tour and a quiet return to New Zealand at last weeks Taranaki Open. Ben Campbell also had a good week with a tied 21st finish alongside Fiji legend, Vijay Singh.

Although he wont feature at Harewood, Mike Hendry finished in second, a whopping nine shots behind Ryder Cup champion, Brandt Snedeker. Hendry picked up $175,000 for his troubles which lifts him to second on the PGA of Australia money list.

Chantelle Cassidy is back in the Garden City and looking to create history and win three Harewood Open titles on the trot. She will be coming up against a strong womens field with the victorious Canterbury Toro team being well represented this week.

Canterburys Amelia Garvey will be one of those as she continues to build experience, recently returning from Australia and America at amateur events and will pose a big threat for Cassidy who was surprisingly rusty in Taranaki.

As the pro-am kicks the festivities off today, All Black Izzy Dagg will be down to support local tournament in Christchurch and see if he can match it with the pros after returning from a professional outing of his own in South Africa where the All Blacks created history with a 57-15 victory.

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