Jason Day wasted no time in his quest to prove he’s become a winner while Marc Leishman kept pace with his countryman in a hot start at Torrey Pines.
The Australian duo fired six-under rounds of 66 on Torrey Pines north to open the PGA Tour event in California in a tie for third just two shots off the lead.
Only former British Open champion American Stewart Cink, who wound back the clock with an eight-under 64, and fellow American Gary Woodland (65) bested the Aussie pair.
Players alternate between the much easier north and south courses over the opening two days before playing the south over the weekend.
South African Tyrone Van Aswegen (north course) and American Jim Herman (north) joined the Australians at six-under while Americans Pat Perez (south) and D.A. Points (north) plus Korean Sang-Moon Bae (north) shared seventh at five-under.
Seven-time champion and world No.1 Tiger Woods battled to an even par 72 on the harder south course to be mid-field.
After failing to grab a title for over three years Day claimed the World Cup last November and says the victory has him primed to notch up multiple wins in the US.
“I’m very satisfied with the number (today). I had good prep work coming into the week and the game feels like it is in a good spot right now,” Day said.
“It was good to see the momentum roll into this year but the biggest thing I gained from the World Cup was the confidence and being able to know I can finish it off and finish strong.
“I want to win a lot more, I have only won once out here and it would be nice to win a couple of times this year.
“Today was a good day for me to start this quest but I have three days left.”
World No.10 Day has pinpointed a major championship for one of those wins along with a push towards the world top five.
With three runner-up finishes, a third and a total of six top 10s from 13 starts in major championships it is certainly not unattainable.
“Hopefully a major is not too far on the horizon,” he added.
“It would also be nice to get into the top five in the world, I feel like my game is trending in the right direction.”
Steven Bowditch kept the flag flying high for the Australian tilt with a round of 67 on the north course to be tied 10th.
But it was tougher going for the rest.
Aaron Baddeley (71), Bronson La’Cassie (72) and Scott Gardiner (73) failed to take full advantage of the north course while Geoff Ogilvy (74), Stuart Appleby (74), Robert Allenby (75) and Matt Jones (75) all struggled to over par rounds on the south course.