World No.84 Smith's four-under 69 left her tied for second place after the first round alongside Spaniard Luna Sobron Galmes.

They sit just behind outright leader Canadian Brooke Henderson, who posted a bogey-free 68.

Kirk and World No.1 Shanshan Feng also navigated the trying weather at Paradise Island to return three-under par 70s. Only 17 players posted under-par rounds.

"It's was pretty tough, it wasn't too bad early on but right now, it's crazy," Smith said post-round.

"It's pretty hitting all sorts of clubs from numbers you wouldn't even think of. I hit a 9-iron from 88 metres and I didn't even get there."

Canada's Brooke Henderson leads in the Bahamas. PHOTO: Getty Images.

Smith raced out of the blocks to be three-under after four holes and shot a round-high six birdies.

But two bogies, including one on her final hole, cost her a chance to enter the second day in front.

Kirk, Australia's second highest-ranked player after Minjee Lee, said she leaned on previous playing experience at the island course when the wind picked up.

"We had perfect weather and barely any wind in the first two days (of practice)," she said.

"I had a game plan from (earlier years). You just have to be a lot smarter with your starting lines and play a little bit more conservative."

Rookie West Australian Hannah Green posted a one-over 74 while Victoria's Su Oh has plenty of ground to make up, tied for 46th after shooting 75.