Mark Calcavecchia and Donnie Hammond led, but most of the attention was given Nick Faldo in the first round of the Nestle Invitational.
In shooting 66 to share the lead, Calcavecchia got off to a quick start, with a birdie on the third hole and eagle on the fourth, and Hammond had no bogeys.
Faldo, heavier and stronger than he was in 1990 victories in the Masters and British Opens and making his first start of the year after spending the winter in a conditioning program, was in a group one shot behind.
“I have, as they say, a few extra yards in the bag,” Faldo said. “I’ve been waiting 20 years for that.”
He was tied for third with Buddy Gardner and Clarence Rose.
Faldo pulled to within one stroke of the leaders with a four-iron shot from a fairway bunker that stopped five feet away from the 15th hole.
He made that birdie putt, then an eight-foot putt for par on the 17th.
Calcavecchia has had problems with his left shoulder and wrist since he caught a tree limb on his downswing while playing in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“I had my chiropractor pop the shoulder back in place last weekend,” he said.