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Matthew Millar off to good start at New Zealand Open

Canberra golfer Matthew Millar took a valuable lesson from the $1.75 million Perth International that has helped put him in a strong position after the opening round of the New Zealand Open on Thursday.

Millar shot a four-under 68 to sit two shots off leader Steven Jones in equal third going into the second round.

Fellow Canberran Brendan Jones didn't get off to the same good start, carding a two-over 74 to sit eight shots off the lead and flirting with missing the cut.

Having opened in strong winds at The Hills course on Thursday, Millar has a morning tee time at Millbrook on day two.

Millar has been Mr Consistent on the Australasian PGA over the past 12 months, but missed the cut in Perth when the stakes went up to another level.

He put that down to two bad tee shots to miss the cut by two shots, having posted a double bogey on the second hole.


The 39-year-old said ensuring he got off to a good start had been a focus in the $1 million NZ Open.

"I didn't feel like I played badly in Perth, probably hit two bad tee shots and … got punished for the two shots," Millar said.

"Apart from that probably didn't play too badly and all of a sudden I missed the cut.

"There was lessons to learn out of it. One thing I wanted to do today, which I didn't think would be particularly easy, was to get away to a good start.

"It was good to get on the front foot early and get a start, rather than try and play your way back from the middle of the field and beyond."


Millar was back to his consistent self in Queenstown, shooting four birdies and no bogeys.

He said he didn't struggle for par at all over his opening round and hit a lot of fairways and greens.

Millar said there wasn't much difference between the two courses, although he said there were a few tough holes at Millbrook.

"I didn't really struggle for par on any occasion. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and just took advantage of a couple of close ones. It was a really solid day so I was happy with the way it panned out," he said.

"Get through tomorrow and see if we can do something similar to today or better, and try and put a few on the board and try to get yourself right up there leading into the weekend, that'd be good."