Stewart Cink opened with a six-under 64 to be in a four-way tie for the St. Jude Classic lead, while Rickie Fowler struggled.
Cink holed nine birdies and three bogeys in his first round at TPC Southwind on Thursday.
The American, who qualified for next week's U.S. Open, is alongside Matt Every, Scott Brown and Sebastian Munoz atop the leaderboard.
South African Charl Schwartzel and Australian Matt Jones also made bright starts to be a shot back in a tie for fifth.
Fowler, the world number nine, battled as he shot a four-over 74.
Coming off a tied for second at the Memorial Tournament, Fowler had a double-bogey at the par-four 13th and a seven at the 15th.
The American found water with his tee shot at the 15th and was four over through six holes, but did find consistency on his back nine with eight consecutive pars to finish his round.
Every went through bogey-free, an eagle at the par-five 16th the highlight of his round.
Retief Goosen and Chez Reavie carded 66s to be tied for seventh, a shot ahead of Peter Malnati, Grayson Murray, John Huh, Harris English and Chad Campbell.
Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter made decent starts, their one-under 69s leaving them tied for 29th.
Australian Adam Scott (71) is further back after mixing two birdies with three bogeys.