Golf: 5 players to watch at the NZ Open

The New Zealand Open tees off in Christchurch tomorrow. APNZ's Daniel Richardson takes a look at five players in the field to keep an eye on.

Mark Brown (NZ), TAB odds: $9. The Lower Hutt man finished in a tie for third in last weekend's Australian Masters and is a former winner on the European Tour. He will start the week as one of the joint favourites and is a good chance to be in the mix on Sunday given his current form.

Peter O'Malley (Australia), TAB odds: $30. O'Malley is one of the most recognisable figures in this year's Open field and won the event in 1995. The 47-year-old has scaled back his playing commitments but likes the wind and a breezy Clearwater course, where he has won before, could be just his thing.

Nick Cullen (Australia), TAB odds: $9. Cullen is one of the other joint favourites alongside Brown and Kiwi Michael Hendry. The South Australian won his first tournament on the OneAsia Tour this year when triumphed at the Indonesian Open in March and the world No 383 will be a contender this week.

Josh Geary (NZ), TAB odds: $30. Geary had a rough year in the United States as he tried to find his feet this season but could barely get a start on the web.com tour. Geary has been the best-placed Kiwi in the New Zealand Open for the past four years running and there must be some interest him with the punters as he has backed in to $30 to win the event after opening at $50.

Jake Higginbottom (Australia), TAB odds: $30. The 19-year-old is a highly-promising amateur who finished in share of 10th place at the Australia Masters in Melbourne last weekend. Higginbottom was the leading amateur at Clearwater last year when he finished in a tie for 22nd.