Packed galleries followed world golf number one Lydia Ko around the Clearwater course in Christchurch as she carded a two under par opening round at the New Zealand women's Open.
The Auckland teenager's four shots off the leader, the Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal, who fired a six under 66.
Ko's 70 ties her as the top local player alongside the amateur, Munchin Keh.
Ko mixed an even par front nine, with a bogey and a birdie, with two birdies on her back nine.
Ko tees off at 8.24am in her second round on Saturday.
The 12-year-old Bohyun Park shot a two over 74.
Lydia Ko won the event in 2013, but last year she came second to South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee.
New Zealand Golf general manager Dave Mangan said they had hoped Lydia Ko would attract increased numbers, and they had been delighted to see people pouring through the gates from early in the day.
By 3pm 5800 people were at the event, almost twice as many as for the opening day last year.
The final round will be played on Sunday.