He had an eight-over-par 80 in the first round at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast - six of the dropped shots going at two holes.
The Woodsome Hall player had triple bogeys at both the fifth, a 185-yard par-3, and the ninth, a 541-yard par-5.
He also had four bogeys and just two birdies - at holes 10 and 15 - on a day when strong winds led to only six players breaking par.
An indication of the difficulties faced showed themselves in the form of an 84 from former US Ryder Cup player Brandt Snedeker - the top-ranked player in the field.
World No 38 Snedeker started from the 10th and covered the back nine in 45 with four bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey, before coming home in 39 due to four bogeys and a solitary birdie on the sixth.
In contrast, England's Mark Foster made an excellent start in his bid to reclaim his European Tour card with an opening 69.
Foster, who lost his card after finishing 123rd on the Race to Dubai and was unable to regain full playing privileges via the Qualifying School, carded seven birdies and four bogeys in the ough conditions.
That left the 40-year-old from Worksop two shots behind South African Zander Lombard, who returned a flawless 67.
South Africa's Dylan Frittelli and Australian Ashley Hall are three off the lead on two under, with home pair Todd Sinnott and Adam Stephens the only other players in red figures after rounds of 71.
Sinnott was on course to claim the lead after playing his first 12 holes in six under, but then carded three double bogeys in the next four holes before repairing some of the damage with a birdie on the 18th.
Foster, who almost pulled out of the event after missing the cut in South Africa last week, said: "It was a great day obviously.
"I laughed my socks off walking to the 18th green when a spectator said 'They've had it easier this afternoon'. I don't know what he was watching, but the wind was blowing everywhere.
"At breakfast this morning you could hear the flag poles banging and I looked at the scores so I knew what we were getting. But the one thing the wind did was focus me really well. Three under feels like seven or eight under."
England's Tom Lewis and Ireland's Paul Dunne, who share the distinction of leading the Open Championship as amateurs, were among eight players on level par, even though Lewis called a penalty on himself on the last.
"It was a bit of a shame on the 18th," Lewis explained. "My ball moved a tiny bit so technically I feel like I shot one under, but I didn't know whether it was the wind or not (which caused the ball to move).
"I didn't touch the ball but I called (European Tour chief referee) John Paramor to the scorers' hut and after a chat with him I called the one-shot penalty because we couldn't be certain if it was wind that had moved it, even though that was pretty obvious."