Australian Mathew Goggin took the clubhouse lead, while Masters champion Trevor Immelman plunged to near last after a horror opening round at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
Goggin – a renowned ball-striker whose short game is not quite so stellar – was at home in the tough, windy conditions at the Four Seasons TPC, carding a three under par 67.
He headed Jesper Parnevik and Kevin Sutherland by a single stroke with half the field back in the clubhouse.
Goggin, 33, has quietly played his way into good form this season, posting top-20 finishes in four of his past six starts.
He was only even par after 13 holes, before reeling off three birdies in a row to jump to the front.
“It’s pretty brutal,” Goggin said of the course, which has been revamped since last year.
“I think it’s supposed to be a brand new golf course, and whenever the guys come to a new venue, I guess there’s always a bit of a feeling-out period.
“They didn’t give us much of a break with the tee placements or the pin placements. The course was playing long, it was difficult to get the ball close. I was really happy with three under.”
Immelman started with early bogeys, and went from bad to worse with a triple bogey at his sixth hole, the par-four 15th, where he pulled his drive out-of-bounds.
He limped home with an eight over par 78 and will miss the cut unless he produces something special in the second round.