Dan Forsman shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize after the first round of the Greater Hickory Classic.
Forsman had eight birdies and a bogey at Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Jones Course. He won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii in January for his third Champions Tour title.
Frost and Mize had bogey-free rounds, and Funk had four birdies and a closing eagle on the par-5 18th.
Defending champion Mark Wiebe and Jay Don Blake shot 67. Wiebe had a hole-in-one on No. 3.
Tom Lehman, 69 points behind leader Bernhard Langer in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, opened with a 68. Langer, the winner Sunday in the SAS Championship in Cary, had a 70.