New Zealand’s leading amateur Daniel Hillier was in red-hot form in the opening round of the Carrus Open to finish at six-under par and lead by one stroke on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

Hillier recorded eight birdies at the Tauranga Golf Club this morning which was enough to give him the outright lead with fellow Wellington amateur Kerry Mountcastle in second place.

“It was nice to get off to another good start this week, which has put me in good position for the next three rounds, so I’m really happy,” said Hillier.

After playing in the penultimate group at the Autext Muriwai Open last week, he is looking to make the most of his form, but certainly isn’t thinking about the end result.

“I’m doing much of the same as last week which was a big confidence booster being near the top again, but if it’s my week it’s my week, if it’s not it’s not and we will move on to the next one.”

With five birdies in six holes on the more difficult nine, it seems anything is possible for the 19-year-old as he continues to compete with the best in the business.

“It was one of those moments when you get in the zone so it was a nice feeling.”

Hot on his heels is New Zealand Stroke Play champion, Mountcastle who carded a clinical round of five-under to continue his run of form as he aims for another trophy to add to the cabinet.

Mountcastle capitalized late in the day as he played the very gettable front nine last which featured four birdies in just five holes as he proves to the field what a big threat he is.

The two front runners for the Jennian Homes Trophy have got off to a solid start which keeps it very interesting with James Anstiss in a tie for third place at four-under alongside Hayden Beard and Dongwoo Kang, while the current points leader Daniel Pearce finished on three-under par.

Pearce, who is a two-time winner this season, had a round of two halves this morning and after making the turn at two-over, there must have been a magic touch which helped him make five birdies in seven holes to bring his round back on track.



Brittney Dryland has been consistently in contention throughout 2018, so it’s no surprise to see her leading the women’s field by one shot with a sensational round of six-under, 66 to equal the course record (preferred lies) at the Tauranga Golf Club this afternoon.

Her round, which has equalled Emily Perry’s 2007 record, included six birdies, an eagle (13th hole) and even a double bogey which came straight after her eagle, as she aims to win her second Jennian Homes Charles Tour title.

In the slightly more challenging afternoon conditions she had no idea what the course record was, so there was a hint of excitement and surprise written all over her face.

“It feels pretty good, I didn’t know anything about it, so yeah it feels pretty cool,” said Dryland.

“It’s been a busy start to the year with three weeks on the trot and to get close on both occasions, it’s pretty good to have a good one to start the week off. I just have to stay in the moment and keep it going.”

Although Dryland has produced the round of her season, she still only has a one-shot lead after an array of great results with Caryn Khoo finishing the day at five-under and Miree Jung at four-under to make for a fierce finale to the Jennian Homes Charles Tour season.

Khoo also featured in the highlights package with an impressive eagle on the par five, 7th which rocketed her into contention. Both her and Dryland have one victory at this level so the race is on to see who can double their tally.


Round two will tee off from 7:15am with the top 60 plus ties earning the right to play the weekend in the men’s field, while the top 12 and ties will progress in the women’s field.



    1 Hydes, James 156.07
    2 Kobori, Kazuma 123.61
    3 Thompson, Mako 110.28
    4 Jones, Samuel 93.31
    5 Zheng, Jimmy 86.98
    1 Chung, Darae 218.92
    2 Kobori, Momoka 159.50
    3 Xu, Fiona 128.24
    4 Son, Yeonsoo 96.58
    5 Lu, Vivian 91.25