Victorian golfer Zach Murray reckons some good vibes in Queenstown can help negate the physically gruelling nature of preparations for his New Zealand Open title defence.
Murray burst from relative obscurity 12 months ago to clinch victory in the 100th edition of the tournament, holding the lead through all four rounds.
The 22-year-old arrived on Wednesday morning off a day and half's travel following his 48th placing at the WGC Mexico Championship last week.
Adding to the strain was that the first two rounds were a slog, having suffered from food poisoning in the immediate lead-up.
"So my expectations got severely lowered ... I battled around for the first couple of days and played quite nicely," he said.
"I relied on my caddie (Simon Clarke) a fair bit. He just guided me around really and I just sipped on the water."
It continued a decent run of form for Murray.
After a slow start to the Australasian summer, he was 36th at the PGA Championship and 15th at Vic Open, bisected by a 21st placing at the Abu Dhabi Championship, a promising result given he will play on the European Tour this year.
However, he hasn't managed a top-10 finish since his triumph at New Zealand's biggest tournament, something he achieved only a handful of months after turning professional.
He hoped a return to The Hill and Millbrook Resort courses that co-host the event will prove inspirational.
"I think I've said all along, this is one of my favourite places in the world, Queenstown, and to come back here I was really excited," Murray said.
"I won't put any pressure on myself. The expectation is to come back and play well and my game is in good shape.
"It's not often you come and defend a title, but I'm definitely going to give it a red-hot crack."
Australians have won seven of the last eight editions of the tournament which is a co-sanctioned event on the PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour, carrying prizemoney of $NZ1.4 million ($A1.34m).