The New Zealand golfer Josh Geary was the only player not to finish over par as high winds created havoc at the Fiji International.
Geary managed two birdies in his last four holes to shoot an even par 72 and take a two-shot lead into Friday.
"It was a bit of a miracle run, the first nine holes I really didn't hit it good off the tee, and then just missed quite a few greens and made some great saves and made some good putts which is kind of unlikely when it's so windy - you're sort of allowing for more wind than you are the actual slope - so putted great today and the back nine I hit a lot better and just didn't make many putts I guess but all in all a pretty hard day and I'm pretty happy with 72."
World number 16 Matt Kuchar is one of five players in a share of second place at two over par.
The American admits he's relieved to be just two shots from the lead after a challenging time on the Natadola Bay course.
"It felt like survival for sure. After I played Tuesday and Wednesday I don't think I sniffed breaking 80 yesterday; I new this course was really hard with this much wind. The officials and set-up crew do their best to make it as playable as possible and there were a few times where I thought it was not playable...but we were told to keep playing and so we did. It felt like we survived and I'm glad to just be done now."
Australian Steven Jeffress began his title defence with a four over par 76 and is in a share of 11th place while Vijay Singh and Sam Lee are the best-placed Fijians at six over par.
Singh says it was not easy.
"I could have been a few more better but then again I could have been a lot worse. It's just a tough day to play in conditions like this. It was raining in the beginning and it was hard doing everything - hard swinging the club and hard putting - so [it was the] best I could do."
Tomasi Tuivana was the next best local player at nine over par while Vijay Singh's brother Krishna and Dinesh Chand both carded an 11 over par 82.
Anasa Seruvatu is way down the field in a share of 125th place after ending the first round at 18 over par while Bill Suguturaga carded the highest round of the day - a 24 over par 96.