Rory McIlroy made an immediate impact at the Wells Fargo Championship, shooting an impressive five-under-par 66 to share the lead after the opening day's play at Quail Hollow.
The former world number one needed just 31 strokes to complete his back nine to move one shot clear of the field heading into the second round in North Carolina. American Joel Dahmen later joined McIlroy on five under par making a birdie on the final hole.
McIlroy hit an early birdie on the par-four second hole but then handed a shot back on the seventh hole to reach the turn at level par.
But a blistering back nine saw McIlroy hit five birdies and four pars to post his five-under tally at the event where he has won the title twice inside the last nine years.
"I think I got the most out of my round today, so I am not going to complain," said McIlroy following his opening round, speaking to Sky Sports in relation to a missed birdie putt following one of the shots of the year as he guided his approach through the trees on the 12th to within five feet of the flag.
"If you get through the first six holes, there is a stretch of holes where you can make your shots up and thankfully that's what I did today, despite bogeying the seventh, which isn't ideal. But I responded well with some good play on the back nine.
"It means a lot, I have so many special memories here and I have celebrated my birthday here since I turned 20 and there is a big one coming up on Saturday, which I don't want to talk about," laughed McIlroy, who turns 30 on 4 May.
"It is a home course as I am an honourary member here, so it is a place I am very comfortable here."
Seamus Power also enjoyed a fine opening round as the Waterford man maintained his recent good form and shares 15th place following his two-under 69.
One of the early starters, Power hit nine straight pars on the front nine, before making back to back birdies on 13 and 14, and then moving to four under with an eagle on the 15th.
Power handed two shots back on the notoriously difficult 18th to sit three shots off McIlroy going into the second round.
Padraig Harrington, meanwhile, had a disappointing day on the links, shooting four over and will need to go low on Friday to make the weekend cut.
Four players share third place with Martin Laird, Patrick Reed, Nick Taylor and Adam Schenk all posting four under to sit one shot off McIlroy.