Sweden's Carl Pettersson holds a one-stroke lead at six-under par after opening with a round of 66 at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
Pettersson tops the leaderboard ahead of a four-way tie for second at the Ocean Course, Kiawah Island.
Another Swede, Alex Noren, American Gary Woodland, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernando-Castano and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy sit just one shot back from Pettersson courtesy of their five-under-par opening rounds of 67 in South Carolina.
The front-runners are followed by a star-studded collection of eight players in a share of sixth at four under.
That group includes the defending champion, American Keegan Bradley, along with two compatriots, colourful veteran John Daly and Scott Piercy, who won at the Canadian Open two weeks ago.
Australia are well represented, with Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott all posting rounds of 68, the latter seeking to banish memories of his final-round collapse at the British Open last month.
The other two players tied for sixth are Dutchman Joost Luiten and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion.
World number two Tiger Woods, the only man to win three times on the PGA Tour this year, started strongly with a three-under 69.
The American must improve on his finish of tied third at the British Open if he is to add to his haul of 14 major championship victories.
Among the players tied for 14th place with Woods is Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, South Koreans K.T. Kim and KJ Choi, as well as England's Justin Rose.
Swede Peter Hanson, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Americans Pat Perez, Ben Curtis and Cameron Tringle are also three under.
At the wrong end of the first-round leaderboard is 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, after the German posted a dire seven-over 79.
He is in surprisingly illustrious company at tied 143rd, alongside reigning US Open champion Webb Simpson, as well as England's Paul Casey.
PGA Tour regulars Kyle Stanley and Charley Hoffman fared even worse, and the Americans' participation in the final major of the year appears over already after they struggled to rounds of 80 and 81 respectively.