Grant Moorhead among first round leaders
New Plymouth's Grant Moorhead showed he will be a contender again in the Ngamotu Classic after he finished the first day among the leading trio in the Charles Tour event.
Moorhead was in contention for most of last year before falling just short of fellow New Plymouth professional Dominic Barson but again started the tournament strongly.
In the second event of the Charles Tour season, the 47-year-old carded a round of 69 which included five birdies and a double bogey on a typical Taranaki afternoon where high winds featured once again.
For someone who hasn't played many events, he was more than satisfied with the days play.
"I'm very happy with the round, I don't have a whole lot of expectations coming into this week without having played a lot of golf, so it was very pleasing," Moorhead said.
"I have put a lot of work into my putting so to see it all pay off today was very encouraging. You have to scramble heaps in these conditions, so if you can get this part right, you will go a long way."
Joining him at the top of the leaderboard was the morning leaders of Pieter Zwart and Kieran Muir who, like Moorhead, have both experienced victories on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
Although the leaders will be pleased with round one, they can't afford to rest on their laurels with an experienced chasing pack just one shot behind.
Dan Pearce, who had a very colourful scorecard with six birdies and four bogeys, was joined by Mark Brown, Hayden Beard, Kerry Mountcastle and last week's champion, Harry Bateman.
Meanwhile, Rose Zheng showed her class on a challenging day to record a round of one-over par to lead the women's field.
It was this time last year where Zheng won her first Charles Tour title at the Harewood Open and she is in good stead to put a new trophy in her cabinet.
Caryn Khoo is just one shot back after displaying her strength off the tee in the wind to be in contention after a round of two-over par.
At a glance
Leaderboard after first round of the Ngamotu Classic (par 72):
Peter Zwart -3, Kieran Muir -3, Grant Moorhead -3, Hayden Beard -2, Daniel Pearce -2, Kerry Mountcastle -2, Chang Gi Lee -2, Mark Brown -2, Harry Bateman -2, Fraser Wilkin -2.
Also: Sanjay Modgill ev, Steven Hayes ev, Fletcher Broderick +2, Dominic Barson +3.