Hutson and May lead while Hillier looms at The Christies Floorings Mount OpenYellow Golf Clubs icon

Mark Hutson and Zachary May have taken the lead after the opening round of the Christies Floorings Mount Open; the Jennian Homes Charles Tour season finale.

The pair lead by a shot over Daniel Hillier who sits atop the season-long points standings for the Jennian Homes Trophy. They both shot seven-under 65’s around Mt Maunganui Golf Club to take control after the first round.

Hutson got off to a hot start this morning to post the early club house lead. He made eight birdies and the single bogey to dust off the cobwebs after a month of no tournament golf.

He says he’s very pleased with the start to his golf tournament.

“Yeah it was very solid. I didn’t play particularly well in the pro-am yesterday, so it was nice to come out with a hot start and managed to keep it rolling which was nice.

“It’s been a little while between competitive rounds. You never really know what to expect when you tee it up for the first time after a bit of a break. I’ve been paying fairly solid when I’ve been playing casually so it was nice to prove that in a competitive round,” he says.

Hutson says playing well in these events has been at the forefront of his mind this year and is pleased he’s been able to do that at the season finale.

“It’s been a goal of mine to contend in a couple of these events this year and it hasn’t quite worked out so far. To be there or thereabouts after the first round is pleasing albeit there is a little way to go.

“It’s nice to get off to a good start,” Huston says.

Equaling him at the top is Cantabrian Zachary May who fired his career best tournament round.

Like Hutson, May made eight birdies and the lone bogey to share the lead, which is something he’s proud of.

“It was pretty cool. I teed off 13 and got off to a pretty hot start and birdied my first two holes. I was really happy with how I was able to keep the pedal down and post a good score.

“This is my best tournament round by a couple, and it was pleasing to see the birdies keep on coming,” he explains.

May is a man of many talents having represented Canterbury in golf, hockey, and cricket. He says that playing a range of sports at a high level has been beneficial to his golf which paid dividends today.

“Golf has always been the passion and has been what I’ve wanted to do. Playing those sports to a high level will be good in the long run as I’m able to put myself under pressure playing big games in other sports.”

Meanwhile Jennian Homes Trophy leader Daniel Hillier is lurking just a single shot behind the leaders.

Only Hydes and Toomey can steal the show for Hillier if they win the event.

He says it was a weird feeling stepping on the first tee playing with Hydes.

“Being paired with Jimmy [Hydes] and knowing him and Luke [Toomey] are the only ones that can catch me was a little weird.

“I was playing matchplay with him for a bit at the start and we were both going pretty well. I know around this sort of golf course Jimmy is going to go well as he hits it very straight and has a wicked short game.

“As long as I can keep on my toes and keep up with him, I should be okay,” Hillier says.

Hydes shot a round of two-under while Toomey struggled for an opening round of two-over.

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Scores after round 1 - Thu 10 Dec 2020

65 Zachary May (Russley), Mark Hutson (PGA New Zealand)

66 Daniel Hillier (PGA New Zealand)

67 Kit Bittle (Gulf Harbour Country Club), Jaeseung Na (Whitford Park), Chang Gi Lee (PGA New Zealand), Tae Koh (Windross Farm Golf Course)

68 Jimmy Zheng (Howick), Jared Edwards (Royal Auckland and Grange), Ryan Rooney (Feilding), James Anstiss (PGA New Zealand), Michael Hendry (PGA New Zealand)

69 Sung Jin Yeo (PGA New Zealand), Munchin Keh (P), Taylor Gill (PGA New Zealand), Hiroki Miya (Russley), Troy Ropiha (PGA New Zealand), Jordan Woodall (Cambridge), Josh Geary (PGA New Zealand), Sam An (Titirangi)

70 Mason Lee (PGA New Zealand), James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club), Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora), James Watkins (Royal Wellington), Fraser MacLachlan (PGA New Zealand), Logan Hooper (North Shore), Gareth Paddison (PGA New Zealand), Jordan Loof (PGA New Zealand), Woonchul Na (PGA New Zealand), Robby Turnbull (Remuera)

71 Dongwoo Kang (PGA New Zealand), Mako Thompson (Maraenui), Fiona Xu (Titirangi), Luke Brown (PGA New Zealand), Mark Brown (PGA New Zealand), Stephen Liu (Whitford Park), Johnny Tynan (Titirangi), Cosmo Graham (Hastings), Matthew Morris (Royal Wellington)

72 Sam Reese (Gulf Harbour Country Club), Trevor Marshall (PGA New Zealand), Cameron Harlock (Royal Auckland and Grange), Kevin Koong (Muriwai), Jayden Ford (Judgeford), Jerry (Xiangming) Ren (P, Gulf Harbour Country Club), Momoka Kobori (Rangiora), Wenyung Keh (P), Jared Pender (Te Puke), Cameron Jones (PGA New Zealand), Kieran Muir (Omokoroa), Liam Hewitt (Queens Park), Will O'Connor (Royal Wellington), Rhys Thomas (Futures Waikato)

73 Siyi Keh (P), David Kim (Akarana), Shaun Campbell (Omanu), Sam Vincent (Riverside), Eunseo Choi (Takapuna), Lachie McDonald (Marton), Kunaal Singh (Whitford Park), Logan Madden (Morrinsville), Sam McGovern (Hamilton - St Andrews), Jesper Bengtsson (North Shore), Caerwyn Ross (Paraparaumu Beach)

74 Thomas Woods (Miramar), Charlie Smail (Walton), Kyle Wong (Titirangi), Ing Iadpluem (Futures Waikato), Luke Toomey (PGA New Zealand), Mitchell Kale (Tauranga)

75 James Tauariki (Futures Geyserland), Alexander Peterson (Mt Maunganui), Darae Chung (Shandon), Samuel Dodds (Pupuke), Kahu Tataurangi (Remuera), Misong Jang (North Shore), Aileen Du (Remuera), Tuhourangi Wilson (Karamu), Anna An (Muriwai), Nathan Clark (Tauranga), Daniel Freeman (Remuera), Dominic Brettkelly (Hororata), Taylor-Rose Perrett (Omanu), Karan Nalam (Royal Auckland and Grange)

76 Brett Peacock (Titirangi), Joshua Bai (Akarana), Sam Marsters (Miramar), Liam McFarlane (Omanu), Ethan Jones (Manaia), Tae Min Kim (Gulf Harbour Country Club), James Fellows-Ford (Hamilton - St Andrews), Ross Allott (Waitemata), Hanee Song (P), Harry Ward (Paraparaumu Beach)

77 Michael Ellis (Lakes Resort Pauanui), Daniel Haretuku (Whitford Park), Daniel Newman (P, Gulf Harbour Country Club), Laura Hoskin (P), Sieun Ha (North Shore)

78 Dean Sipson (Mt Maunganui), Malcolm Wells (PGA New Zealand), Hayato Miya (Russley), Linna He (Titirangi), Jarrod Millar (Whitford Park), Jerry Song (Queenstown)

79 Harry Bateman (PGA New Zealand), Maddie May (Russley), Grant Stockman (PGA New Zealand), Damian Kempson (Mt Maunganui), Oak Archvarin (Riverside), Henry Spring (Whakatane)

81 Giles La Ville (North Shore), Jun Hee Cho (North Shore)

84 Danielle Price (P)

86 Bridget Connolly (Waitemata), Subin Wui (North Shore)

91 David Khun (North Shore)