Matt Every, whose only two career PGA Tour wins came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, is off to another strong start at his favorite event.
Every fired a bogey-free, 7-under-par 65 on Thursday, and he holds a one-shot lead after the first round at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, another former Bay Hill champion, overcame a slow start to shoot a 66, and he sits alone in second place.
Talor Gooch and Scottie Scheffler are tied for third at 67. Sam Burns, Brendon Todd, Keith Mitchell, England's Tyrrell Hatton, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout share fifth place at 68.
Every won the Palmer event in 2014 and 2015. He served a 12-week suspension from last October through January after testing positive for cannabis, though he stated he had a legal prescription for the drug.
Since returning to action, he has missed three cuts, withdrawn in the middle of another event and finished 74th and tied for 32nd.
On Thursday, he recorded three birdies on the back nine to start his round, then four birdies on the front nine.
McIlroy, the 2018 champion, began his round on the back nine and bogeyed the par-4 11th hole. He rebounded with a pair of birdies to make his turn at 1-under 35 before turning on the jets.
The top-ranked Northern Irishman birdied No. 1 and rolled in an eagle putt on the par-5 fourth hole. McIlroy added two more birdies over his final four holes.
McIlroy has five top-five finishes in as many starts on the PGA Tour this season, and has 11 top-10s in his past 13 worldwide starts, including a pair of victories.
McIlroy was in front after the morning wave of players. Every and the afternoon wave played in higher winds, with gusts up to 30 mph.
Still trying to find his form following fall knee surgery, former No. 1 Brooks Koepka was at 2 under before carding bogeys on his final two holes. His even-par round of 72 included four birdies and four bogeys.
Koepka is coming off a missed cut at the Honda Classic following a tie for 43rd at the Genesis Invitational. He admitted that he isn't trusting his swing on the course.
"Little lack of confidence, can't trust it," Koepka told the Golf Channel. "It's close, it's very close. I just need more rounds."
Koepka cited a three-putt bogey on the 14th hole -- his fifth of the day -- as an example.
"It's not far off, it's the little, stupid stuff," he said. "You got a 25-footer for birdie on 14 and walk away with a bogey.
"Just touch around the greens isn't very good. I don't know. ... It's there in practice, and it's not here (on the course). So, I don't know, (I have to) figure it out."