Wilson an early winner in Bali surf

Australian surfer Julian Wilson has had a good start to the WSL event in Bali

Championship leader Julian Wilson was one of three Australians to make a winning start as the World Surf League made a welcome return to Bali.

Wilson cruised through his three-man first-round heat at the Keramas break to progress directly to round three of the fifth event in the 11-stop season.

The winner of the season opener on the Gold Coast, Wilson is coming off a third placing in Brazil and has been late bloomer on the tour he joined in 2011, achieving a career-best third overall in 2017.

Veteran countryman Joel Parkinson showed why he loves the waves at Keramas as he also won his heat, out-pointing world No.3-ranked Italo Ferreira, the Bells Beach champion.

The 37-year-old Parkinson won the title at Keramas the last time Bali hosted a world championship round in 2013, and the 2012 world champion has made a habit of visiting on surfing holidays each year.

No.7-ranked Owen Wright was also among first-round heat winners, as were defending world champion John John Florence, South Africa's Jordy Smith, Brazil's Gabriel Medina and Jesse Mendes and Frenchman Jeremy Flores.

World No.2 Felipe Toledo faces a sudden-death second-round heat after being outpointed by American Conner Coffin.