Seung-Yul Noh survived a broken driver to shoot an opening 60 and a three-stroke lead after the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson near Dallas.
The South Korean – who has won once on the PGA Tour – cracked the head of his driver on the 12th tee, but matched his outward nine of 30 on the way home with birdies on three of the last four holes.
That leaves him three clear of Australia’s Adam Scott and Zecheng Dou of China with world number two Scottie Sheffler and Jason Day among those a further stroke back.
Scott’s 63 was his lowest opening round for nine years after tying for fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship last week.
“The game was feeling really good there last week and getting a result is always good for the confidence,” said Scott. “Coming here on a course that’s going to throw a lot of birdies out there, getting in that attack mindset was key.”
Scheffler had struggled with his putting before a three-week break and missed five putts from within 10 feet before a strong finish capped by an eagle on the last.
“I was pretty frustrated mid round,” he said.
“I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong, I just kind of got on the wrong end of a few things and the putts definitely weren’t falling middle of the round.”
I’ll remember those putts towards the end and the beginning of the round, I hit a lot of good putts today and was fortunate to shoot a good round.”
England’s Harry Hall had four birdies in five holes to the turn en-route to an opening 67, one better than Tyrell Hatton.