Matt Kuchar and Harris English combined to card a 14-under 58 in the first round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Thursday.
Kuchar and English, who won the event by a record margin of seven strokes in 2013, are only one stroke ahead of Graeme McDowell-Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel-Hunter Mahan, who are tied in second after firing 59s.
Cameron Triangle won the event last year, but his playing partner Jason Day pulled out last week due to the birth of his daughter. As a result, Triangle was partnered with Camilo Villegas and sits in a tie fourth with Daniel Berger-Charlie Hoffman after both pairs finished on 12-under.
Kuchar and English began their round with an eagle on No. 1 and kept their strong start going with a hat-trick of birdies. Two more birdies followed between Nos. 5-9 and the pair did not slow down heading into the back nine as they made three successive birdies from Nos. 13-15.
Kuchar and English concluded their round on a high as they registered their second eagle on No. 17 and another birdie on No. 18.
Meanwhile, Horschel and Mahan started their round with three straight birdies before recording an eagle on No. 14. They then proceeded to end their round with a birdie, an eagle and another birdie.
The three-day event has differing format’s for each round, with Friday’s being modified alternate shot and Saturday’s being better ball.
“Usually when you’re around five under and leading after the first round, it tends to go to around the 10 to 15 under region.”
Woods sported a slightly longer putter at Harind Park than fans are usually accustomed to seeing.
After the opening salvo of his PGA Championship title defence, Brooks Koepka is a confident man.
Former world number one Jason Day and American Brendon Todd share the lead.
Koepka is part of a nine-strong group on four under in California.
Tiger Woods is also in the mix after an opening-round 68.
Koepka carded an opening four-under-par 66 to trail Jason Day by a stroke while Woods was two shots further back.
The American is targeting a third consecutive US PGA Championship title.
The Northern Irishman won the last of his four major titles in 2014.