Rickie Fowler made a bright start to The American Express, sitting a stroke behind leaders Zac Blair and Grayson Murray after the opening round on Thursday.
Fowler carded a seven-under 65 at La Quinta Country Club at the PGA Tour event, which is played on three different courses in California.
The American, who started his 2020 by finishing tied for fifth at the Tournament of Champions, set up his round with a run of five straight birdies beginning at the fifth.
Fowler picked up shots at 11 and 13 before a bogey at the par-four 14th, but he managed another birdie at the last.
Blair and Murray fired eight-under 64s at La Quinta and the Stadium Course at PGA West respectively.
Hank Lebioda (65 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West) and Scottie Scheffler (65 at La Quinta) are alongside Fowler in a tie for third.
It is a hugely congested leaderboard, with Andrew Landry, Tyler Duncan, Adam Schenk, Tom Hoge, Russell Knox, Roger Sloan, Chase Seiffert and Cameron Davis at six under.
Davis, the 24-year-old Australian, is coming off a top-10 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Adam Long, last year's winner when the event was called the Desert Classic, is tied for 49th at three under.
Tony Finau also opened with a 69, while Phil Mickelson is a shot further back in a tie for 74th.