Ireland's Seamus Power is two shots off the pace after day one of the Sanderson Farms Championship after carding a four-under round of 68.
Power, 30, is hoping to take advantage of a weakened field in Mississippi as he looks to continue the streak of first-time winners in the tournament.
With the top 50 in the world eligible to compete in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, the top ranking player in the field is world number 75 William McGirt, who sits tied for 32nd at two under.
Power only dropped a single shot - on the 15th - and holed three birdies on the front nine to put himself in the mix.
Five Americans lead the field after scoring 66 on the first round - Ryan Armour, Andrew Landry, Conrad Shindler, J.J Spaun and Wyndham Clark - with 23-year-old Clark hitting five birdies in row on the back nine to put himself in contention.
Four players from the States sit tied for sixth at five under, while the top placed British interest is David Skinns, who went round in 70, with birdies on the 11th, 14th and 17th, but stopping a shot on the 12th.