Wairarapa's Brayden Mazey carded a four-under par 68 at the St Andrews Golf Club in Hamilton to claim a one-shot lead after round one of the North Island under-19 boys golf championship.
He was one stroke ahead of Auckland's James Eng with a host of the pre-tournament favourites still in contention in the 54-hole event.
Mazey went out in one-under-par 36 and came home in three-under-par 32 for the round of the day, which was sealed by a birdie two at the par 3 18th.
Auckland's Nick Voke, who is the Order of Merit leader after winning the Danny Lee Springfield Open, carded an even-par 72 to be in a share of seventh place, four shots back.
Fellow Srixon Development squad members Trent Munn (Manawatu) and Ryan Chisnall (Greenacres) opened with rounds of 71 and 72 respectively.
Defending champion Compton Pikari is unable to compete this week as he is representing New Zealand at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
The 54-hole tourney concludes today.