Australia managed to win some key close games to stake a 16-8 advantage after the first day of the Trans Tasman golf international at Royal Wellington Golf Club.
Australia lead 6-2 in the foursomes, converting two close games to crucial wins on the final green in the senior men. They also recovered in two crucial games in the afternoon singles with some splendid golf played by both teams in ideal conditions.
It will take a huge effort on the final day tomorrow if New Zealand are to secure their first Trans Tasman Trophy title, decided with teams representing senior and junior men and women in matchplay competition.
Two inform New Zealand players Cecelia Cho won both her matches in the junior girls, while Ben Campbell, who also made the Australian Championship final last week, had a loss and a half.