But an even par 72 was enough to maintain a share of the lead alongside England’s Lee Westwood, the pair 8-under and holding a one-shot cushion over on a packed leaderboard.
Five players share third, among them the in-form Lucas Herbert and former winner at the venue Thorbjorn Olesen, while local amateur star Min Woo Lee is three off the pace and sharing eighth.
The cut fell at even par with 80 players making the grade but today’s second cut will see just 24 players advancing to tomorrow’s six hole knockout matchplay round.
The goal for all is the top eight who receive a bye into the second round of matches though most consider that simply a bonus.
“Obviously trying to lead the 54 hole qualifying but first and foremost trying to stay in the top 24,” co-leader Westwood said in his post round TV interview.
“Obviously like to get in the top 8 as well. You’d like to have a seed through the first round of the matchplay but you want to be in the matchplay first and foremost.”
The early players had the best of conditions once again as those in the afternoon field endured strong winds that made birdies a rare commodity.
After a gruelling day that ended with two birdies and two bogeys defending champion and local Brett Rumford said the course played as difficult as it can.
“As tricky as the golf course gets, no doubt,” was his blunt assessment of the conditions.
“It was just rough from word go. It just hit you on the first tee, it was just bang, straight in your face. Just a completely different aesthetic.
“Every single hole looked different to yesterday, the way it played, your landing areas, everything.
“So it was a day just purely for concentration and just knocking them down. You couldn't really go out and chase it today.
“It was just ‑ it just draws a lot from your concentration because it's difficult to get the ball close and you're having 20, 30, 40, 50, 60‑foot putts where you're not really hitting too bad of golf shots.”
Despite that Rumford said he was pleased with both his play and his position as he takes aim at a seventh European Tour title.
“I'm happy to have signed for 72,” he said. “Happy to be tied for the lead and obviously happy that I'm in that top eight.
“Come what may tomorrow, Number 1 would be nice, a little bonus there, but otherwise a top eight is what I'm focused on.”
Among those to miss the cut were former Master champion Danny Willett and popular Englishman Andrew Beef Johnston.
Willett battled from the outset and with scores of 76-75 leaves Perth with a lot of work to do to get his game back on track.
STRUGGLE WTH FIRST TEE NERVES? TAKE A TIP FROM SIR NICK:
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.