PENHOOK - Nick Rakes made the perfect debut in the boys 16-18 division of the 29th annual Andrew Haley Memorial-Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club Junior Open golf tournament Monday on a course that was making its event debut.
Rakes of Evington, who won the boys' 14-15 age division last year, was the only golfer in the tournament's premier division to break par en route to capturing the first-round lead at The Water's Edge Country Club.
Final-round play begins Tuesday morning at The Waterfront County Club in Scruggs.
Twenty players are competing for the championship in the boys 16-18 division.
Rakes carded a 2-under-par 70 and holds a five-stroke lead over Garnet Manley III (75) of Lynchburg, who competes for Class 4 Jefferson Forest.
Justin LaRue of Chesterfield and former Franklin County prep standout Cameron Dillon are tied for third after each posted a 76 and Calvin Anthony (78) of Roanoke is fifth.
Willoughby Gasperini of South Boston, a prep standout at Halifax County and last year's division runner-up, is seventh after shooting a 79.
Those seven golfers were the only ones to break 80 on day when heat was a factor.
Rakes, Manley and Dillon are slated to tee off in tomorrow's final group at 10:20 a.m.
Dillon, Manley and Gasperini played in Monday's final group.
Rakes made consecutive birdies on the par 5 No. 5 and par 4 No. 6 holes to finish the front nine in 2-under-par 34.
On the back nine, Rakes moved to 3-under after a birdie at No. 13, then, he dropped two strokes with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15. He got a stroke back with a birdie at No. 17.
Three of Rakes' four birdies were on par 5 holes. The course features four par 5 holes.
Rakes was 1-over on the par 3 holes, including a par on the course's signature hole: No. 7 which features an island green that plays over Smith Mountain Lake.
Rakes' scorecard included 12 pars.
Rakes, a prep standout at Rustburg, finished tied for fourth in last year's Class 3 state tournament.
Dillon, who has given a non-binding verbal commitment to continue his golf career this fall at NCAA Division III Roanoke College, birdied three holes and parred 10. He surrendered seven strokes to the course with three bogeys and two double bogeys.