Jim Furyk leads the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational by two shots after a seven-under-par opening round of 63, with Australian John Senden three shots back in a share of third.
American Furyk tops the leaderboard at the Firestone Country Club ahead of Englishman Lee Slattery, who sits outright second courtesy of a five-under 65 on Thursday, in what is his first appearance at the prestigious tournament near Akron, Ohio.
Senden is one of six players tied for third place, after opening with a four-under 66 that consisted of five birdies and one bogey on the par-five 16th hole.
The 41-year-old from Brisbane is in good company, alongside world number one Luke Donald of England and the US Masters champion, American Bubba Watson.
Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello, England's Simon Dyson and American Ben Crane were the other players to post opening rounds of 66.
Geoff Ogilvy is the next highest Australian on the leaderboard, the 2006 US Open champion turned in a three-under 67 to end the day tied for ninth place.
Ogilvy is level with a group of eight other players including 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley, Spaniard Sergio Garca and South Africa Louis Oosthuizen.
The defending champion, Australian Adam Scott, could only manage a one-over-par 71 to be tied 41st.
Scott is making his first competitive appearance since surrendering a four-shot lead in the final round of the British Open last month, where he lost out by a single stroke to South African Ernie Els.
Els fared worse than Scott on Thursday, struggling to a three-over 73 and ending the opening round tied 60th.
Both players would have cast envious glances at Furyk's accomplished effort.
Teeing off on the back nine, the former FedEx Cup winner made a fast start with successive birdies at 10 and 11, before bogeying the 12th.
He hit back with three consecutive birdies between 16 and 18, and helped himself to an eagle-three at the second.
Two further birdies and just one more bogey followed as the 42-year-old, who won the US Open in 2003, set the bar high on day one.
World number two Tiger Woods and the man one place below him in the rankings, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, began their respective challenges with even-par rounds of 70.
Australian Marc Leishman matched the 70 of Woods and McIlroy, while Greg Chalmers shares 41st with compatriot Scott.
Of the other Australians in the field, Jason Day struggled to a five-over 75 and is in danger of missing the half-way cut, as are Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby, who both opened with three-over rounds of 73.