Cameron Jones has taken a one-shot lead after the opening day at the Autex Muriwai Open on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

Rust did not play a factor in Jones’s game on a blustery afternoon at Muriwai Golf Club, firing a five-under 67 to take the top spot.

After a long lay off from competitive golf, Jones says the time away has reminded him why he loves the game.

“It feels really good, although a little surprising I must admit.

“One thing I’ve started doing is just enjoying the game a bit more, I had a really good time with Shilts [Brad Shilton] and we were having some good laughs which kept us relaxed. I’m just happy to have hit some good shots and hole a few putts,” he says.

After coming out of lockdown Jones has been coaching at his home club Gulf Harbour Country Club and hasn’t felt the pressures of competitive golf in a long time.

He says he felt like he was playing his first event again.

“I’ve been playing so much casual golf with friends and clients recently that golf has been very relaxing. Driving out here today there were definitely a few nerves and they didn’t leave all day. It was helpful playing with Brad as we kept it nice and relaxed which made it easy to embrace the nerves.

“Coaching has actually been really good for my mindset coming into today; it’s reminded me why I love playing the game and it’s simplified a few things. It’s taken my mind off my own golf,” Jones explains.

He says nothing changes heading into tomorrow’s second round.

“I’ll enjoy it again tomorrow and I’ll try not to take it too seriously. With what’s been happening around the world there are more important things in life so I’ll keep trying to smile and will see what happens.”

A shot further back lies Ryan Chisnall and Jennian Homes Charles Tour stalwart Richard Lee.

The pair teed off as part of the morning field and watched the winds pick up for the afternoon.

Chisnall says it was exciting to get the competitive juices flowing once again.

“It’s awesome to be back out at Muriwai and we had a beautiful morning. I was excited to tee off and get things rolling again and I got off to quite a nice start which gave me a few nerves early on which I haven’t had in a while. I enjoyed the day,” he explains.

Richard Lee made waves early in the day finding himself at six-under with two to play.

Despite finishing with two bogeys’, Lee was happy to get a score of four-under under the belt to begin the week.

“I started off really well. I drained a long putt for birdie on the first and eagled the second with another good putt there. That continued for a lot of the round.

“It’s always a pleasure coming back to Muriwai. This is a great event and the golf course always shows its teeth at some point in the week. Hopefully I can keep this up,” Lee says.

Round two gets underway tomorrow morning from 7.45.



    1 Jones, Samuel 115.78
    2 Lee, Jang Hyun 83.56
    3 Zheng, Jimmy 73.73
    4 Ford, Jayden 66.16
    5 Bai, Joshua 66.10
    1 Chung, Darae 260.13
    2 Son, Yeonsoo 110.19
    3 Xu, Fiona 93.60
    4 Im, Amy 69.80
    5 Kang, Sumin 69.60