Nick Taylor shot an 8-under-par 63 at Monterey Peninsula Golf Club on Thursday to build a two-shot lead after the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.
The players will rotate among three courses through the first three days of the event, with par-71 Monterey considered to be bit easier than par-72 Pebble Beach and with par-72 Spyglass Hill generally the toughest of the trio.
Taylor kicked off his tournament with an eagle on the par-5 10th hole, his first hole of the day. The 31-year-old Canadian, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory since his lone one in 2014, added six birdies on a bogey-free card.
He leads by two shots over Patrick Cantlay (SH) and Chase Seiffert (PB), who are both at 6 under. The eighth-ranked Cantlay managed his 66 by offsetting three bogies with nine birdies. He hit only 12 greens in regulation but needed just 24 putts.
"I played really well," Cantlay told the Golf Channel. "I feel comfortable and confident with the game, and I really like it around here."
Another shot off the pace is a group of eight players that includes Harold Varner III and Lanto Griffin, who picked up his first PGA Tour victory during the Fall Swing.
Varner has fallen to 138th in the official world golf rankings while missing the cut in all three of his events to begin 2020, but he birdied three of his first six holes Thursday en route to a 5-under 67 at Pebble Beach.
"Obviously played well, and was obviously having fun," Varner told the Golf Channel. "It's a lot of fun, I just want to play well.
"Got off to a rough start this year. I've been close to making some cuts but haven't cracked the egg yet. But we're working on it."
Defending champion Phil Mickelson birdied his final three holes at Spyglass Hill to card a 4-under 68 and keep himself in the hunt. He's currently tied for 12th with the likes of Australia's Jason Day.
Two-time winner Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 5, shot a 3-under 69 at Spyglass. He was playing with Jordan Spieth, the 2017 champion who entered the week ranked No. 55 after arriving at Pebble Beach ranked No. 3 just two years ago. He carded a 70 that included a typically inconsistent four birdies against a pair of bogeys.
"I hit a couple of bad wedges, and then I just didn't make any putts," he told the Golf Channel. "Certainly still in the tournament, looking to take advantage of it at (Monterey) tomorrow."