``It's a game of survival,'' Collins said. ``If you lose your head out there just a tiny bit, you're going to rack up a huge score very quickly.''
Australians Adam Scott and Peter Lonard opened with 70s on the Huntingdale course, and Jarrod Moseley and Wayne Riley topped a seven-player group at 71.
Lonard, who shared the Australian PGA title with Moseley on Sunday when darkness forced the suspension of a playoff after one hole, three-putted for a double bogey on the par-4 18th hole.
Tom Watson opened with a 73, and Ty Tryon, the 18-year-old American who qualified for the PGA Tour last year, matched playing partner Nick Faldo with a 74.
Scores from the MasterCard Masters