The New Zealand golf team of Ryan Fox and Mark Brown are tied for ninth, three shots from the leaders after the first day of the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne.

After the opening fourball format Australia, South Korea and England are on top at 10 under par.

At 7-under the card, Team New Zealand had a solid day on course with Mark Brown proving a worthy teammate selection by Ryan Fox.

“I think I made one birdie today, so it’s pretty much all on Browny. I might have made a couple of sneaky par saves there, but Browny played some great golf today and it was good to see. He kind of needed to because my golf was terrible for the most part,” said Fox, who selected Brown as his partner after Danny Lee withdrew from the tournament.

“I don’t think he (Brown) needs too much justification, he’s played at this level for a long time. He won at the highest level on the European Tour, on the Asian Tour and on the Aussie Tour. So obviously when Danny pulled out and Mike (Hendry) couldn’t make it, it was a pretty easy decision for me to pick Brownie. If he felt like he needed to justify his pick, he certainly did that today.”

Mark Brown was happy to have the first round behind them, “I was feeling a little bit of pressure coming into this to try and justify Ryan picking me,” said Brown.

“We’re only one round down, so it’s going to be a long week. I think we’ll be right for the rest of the week, for sure.”

The second round will be played in a foursome format with Team New Zealand on course with Team Venezuela.

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