There's a two way tie for the lead after the opening round of the New Zealand PGA Championship in Auckland.

Australian James Nitties fired three late birdies to join Kiwi Mark Brown at seven under par.

Brown says the Remuera course doesn't necessarily give him home advantage.

He says he doesn't really play the course a lot, so it may not carry the home advantage many people think.

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Brown held the clubhouse lead for much of the day, before the Australian stormed home.

The pair lead by a shot and Brown says it was pleasing to see his own form prevail after a bit of time out.

He says he really hasn't played a lot and had a month or two off over Christmas, so it was good to shake off the rust in that fashion.