The highest single wave score of the event couldn't save Mick Fanning from early elimination at the World Surf League's Tahiti Pro.
Three-time world champion Fanning was rubbed out in the third round, losing to fellow Australian Adrian Buchan with a combined wave score of 16.70 to 15.90 in Teahupo'o.
Fanning, who won the Tahiti title in 2012, appeared set for a win over Buchan after posting a near-perfect 9.83 on Sunday.
But the 2013 title champion Buchan fought back as Fanning joined another ex- world champion Joel Parkinson in being eliminated.
'I feel like I'm surfing really well and making good decisions and it feels really good to make it through,' Buchan said.
Parkinson fell 16.40 to 14.40 against Frenchman Joan Duru while the top seeds Matt Wilkinson, fellow Australian Owen Wright, South Africa's Jordy Smith and reigning Hawaiian world champion John John Florence all progressed to the fourth round at the infamous reef break.
Australia has five surfers through to round four with Julian Wilson, Connor O'Leary also progressing into the three-man heats.
Wilkinson leads Florence in the world title race ahead of Smith and Wright.