New Zealand have made a solid start to the World Cup of Golf, sitting in a share of ninth place after the opening round in Melbourne.

Ryan Fox and Mark Brown combined to card a seven-under par 65 at the Metropolitan Golf Club, sitting just three shots behind a trio of leaders.

Australia, England and South Korea all produced rounds of 10-under 62, sitting a shot ahead of Belgium, defending champions Denmark, and surprise package Malaysia.

When their round was complete, Fox and Brown sat in a share of third, but were left in the unusual situation of having their seven-under total surpassed by many teams who teed off later in the day.

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The format of the event is conducive to low scoring, especially in the first round, with the teams playing fourballs, where the best score recorded by the pair is used on each hole.

Fox and Brown started comparatively slowly, sitting at even par through four holes, but got on a hot streak during the middle of the round, and finished it off with a birdie on 18.

Brown was pleased with how his combination with Fox immediately gelled.

"We had a pretty good strategy where I'd tee off first every hole and try and get the ball in play. When I did that, Foxy would hit his driver and really attack the course, so we combined well.

"It was a little bit tough starting out this morning, it was blowing and cold. The first few holes were playing pretty tough but we got through those and managed to finish pretty strong on the back nine, so we're both really satisfied."

Scores won't be as low tomorrow, with the format shifting to foursomes, where the players take alternate shots, and Brown says it will be a crucial round.

"It's a hard format. Today we had two chances every hole and you could blaze away a little bit, but teeing off on alternate holes, you've got to hit good tee shots on your own to put your partner in play, and try and play a really solid round of golf. I think we've got a pretty good gameplan for the course.

"There's a bit of pressure on me this week, probably self-imposed, but Foxy was nice enough to give me the invite, so I wanted to re-pay that a little bit, but there were a couple of holes there where he saved my bacon as well. That's the nature of the week – hopefully we keep combining well."

Fox and Brown tee off in their second round at 1.55pm tomorrow.