Charles Howell III fired an eight-under 64 to grab a two-shot lead at the RSM Classic on Thursday.
The American produced a bogey-free round that included eight birdies at the Plantation Course at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia.
Howell is one of 13 players in the top 15 that started the PGA Tour event on the Plantation Course.
Austin Cook and J.J. Spaun, last year's winner and runner-up, respectively, opened with six-under 66s to be tied for second.
Aaron Baddeley, Davis Love III and Chase Wright are a shot further back at five under.
Love, the 54-year-old who is a 21-time winner on the PGA Tour, has missed four cuts in 11 events in 2018, but made a bright start.
Brian Harman and Peter Uihlein carded four-under 66s on the Seaside Course to be tied for seventh.