Southland's Vaughan McCall was the best of the Kiwis in the first round of the South African amateur strokeplay championship in George.
McCall mixed five bogeys with four birdies for a one-over-par 73 to be in a share of 33rd place.
The 21-year-old from the Gore Golf Club is seven shots back from the trio of leaders in South Africa's Louis Taylor and Werner Ferreira and Australian Ryan Ruffels, who opened with rounds of six-under-par 66.
They are two strokes clear of South Africa's Damian Naicker and Joris Etlin, of France, in a championship that has drawn a strong international contingent on the back of last week's Ten Nations Cup tournament.
Manawatu's Joshua Munn is one shot further back of McCall in a share of 45th place, while Levin's Tyler Hodge shot 75 and is tied for 54th and Takaka's Blair Riordan managed a 79 to be 87th equal.
It represented a disappointing start for the New Zealanders who performed so well to finish runner-up by one shot to Australia at the inaugural Ten Nations Cup teams event.
- The Southland Times