Thomas carded a blemish-free eight-under 64 around Tauranga Golf Club in bleak conditions this morning to lead fellow professional Mark Hutson and Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) by a couple. Tyler Wood (Ngahinepouri) and professional Harry Bateman sit a further shot back at five under.

Thomas has been trending in the right direction for several events and finally put everything together in his first round this morning, which led for the entire day.

He started at 8.30 am off the first and took advantage of the gettable front nine with consecutive birdies at two and three and again at five and six. He chipped in for birdie at the par 3 ninth to make the turn in five-under.

The Waikato professional kept his foot on the gas coming home, making birdies at 11, 14, and a finishing birdie at 18 to card the round of the day.

Thomas says it was an amazing round of golf.

“It was one of those flow days where everything seemed to go my way. I got lucky a couple of times, the putts dropped, and the ball seemed to find the fairway quite a bit. It was a great day out there today.

“I birdied two and three early, and I was feeling quite good over the ball. I made a couple more birdies on the par 5’s and got around to nine, where I chipped in from an ugly spot which helped with the momentum.

“I was really tidy over the back nine. It was great.”

Thomas has been chipping away at his game for a while, with his best finish at a Jennian Homes Charles Tour event coming at the Renaissance Brewing New Zealand Stroke Play, where he finished in equal 15th.

His father, Simon Thomas, is a PGA Professional who has been helping him with his game, which has come a long way in 2022. Thomas credits his steady incline to sound guidance and competition with his Waikato peers.

“My dad has obviously been a huge help back home, and all the boys in the Waikato at Tieke have also been a huge help. We compete a lot against each other which is really good.”

Despite being the first time he’s held a Jennian Homes Charles Tour lead, he insists that nothing changes tomorrow and beyond as the tournament still has a long way to go.

“I’m going to reset and go again. I’ll pretend I’m even par, and tomorrow’s the start of the tournament.”

Thomas’s round was one of six bogey-free rounds recorded on the opening day at Tauranga Golf Club.

He tees off his second round at 12.15 pm tomorrow, with play beginning at 7.30 in the morning.

LINKS: Live scoring and tournament information