Hancock takes lead in New Zealand

Australian Craig Hancock shot a 4-under-par 68 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the New Zealand Golf Open.

Hancock, who tied for 14th at last week’s Australian Masters, made the most of an early tee time which allowed him to avoid strong winds that swept the Clearwater course in the afternoon.

He had five birdies and a single bogey to lead compatriot Kristopher Mueck and New Zealander Ryan Fox, son of former All Blacks rugby player Grant Fox.

Hancock said that as a Tasmanian he was used to playing in windy conditions ”so it wasn’t all bad for me."