Viraj Madappa was the best placed Indian at tied 21st after managing a one-over 72 at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup while his compatriots struggled in blustery conditions, here Thursday.
With just 12 of the 144 players breaking par, the leader was Thailand's Danthai Boonma, who shot four-under 67. None of the Indians broke par.
Madappa, who broke through for his first win at the Take Solutions Masters last year, had three birdies against four bogeys. The three birdies came in the first 10 holes and was he well placed at three-under and among the front runners, but four bogeys in four successive holes on the back nine from the 12th to 15th pushed him back.
Khalin Joshi had just one birdie against two bogeys for a 73 and was T-33, while S Chikkarangappa (74) was further down in T-65. The others needed strong second rounds to have any chance of making the halfway cut.
Ajeetesh Sandhu and Rahil Gangjee shot 76 each and were T-97, while Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh carded 77 each to be T-113. Amateur Anant Singh Ahlawat shot 10-over 81.
Danthai marked his card with two birdies and an eagle to stay ahead at the Sobu Country Club. Danthai has won twice this year, once in a domestic event in February and on the Japan Challenge Tour last month.
Australia's Brendan Jones remained a threat to Danthai's title ambitions as he trails the Thai by one after signing for a 68 to share second place with Japan's Tomoyo Ikemura.
Asia's first Major winner, YE Yang of Korea returned with a 69 to take tied-fourth place while Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng, Prom Meesawat together with Philippines' Miguel Tabuena and Japan's Shugo Imahira are bunched in equal ninth place after they posted matching 70s.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup is the Asian Tour's first stop in Japan this season and second of four co-sanctioned events with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) this year.