Troy Matteson birdied five of the first nine holes and went on to shoot a 7-under 65 for the first-round lead at the Buick Invitational. That's one stroke better than Brad Adamonis.
Three-time defending champion Tiger Woods had a strong start to his 2008 season carding a 65 and is two back of the lead along with Rory Sabbatini, Kevin Streelman and Stuart Appleby.
Woods and Matteson played the tougher South course at Torrey Pines while the rest of the leaders feasted on the easier North course.
Phil Mickelson, who is also making his 2008 debut this week, shot a 2-under-70 on the North course.
Greenville native Will MacKenzie had a rough opening round finishing tied for last with an eight over par 80.