Troy Matteson fired an 8-under 63 on Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the CIMB Classic.
Matteson, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, had five top-20 finishes in an eight-event stretch before missing the cut in his last two tour starts.
Robert Garrigus carded a 64 and was joined in second place at The Mines Resort and Golf Club by fellow Americans Jeff Overton and Brian Harman.
Tom Gillis and Gaganjeet Bhullar share fifth place at minus-6.
World No. 2 Tiger Woods headlines a group of six players at 5-under 66. After an even-par front nine, Woods came home in 5-under 31.
Woods got up and down for birdie on the par-5 third, then stuffed his approach to tap-in range at the fifth. However, he gave both of those strokes back at eight and nine when his par putts on both holes lipped out.
Around the turn, Woods ran home a long left-to-right breaking birdie putt on the 10th to get his back nine going.
Woods followed with a two-putt birdie at the 11th. At the short par-4 15th, he blasted from a greenside bunker to three feet and knocked that in for birdie. Woods dropped his tee ball inside four feet at 16 and converted that birdie effort.
At the par-5 17th, Woods' eagle chip lipped out. He knocked in the birdie try for his third straight birdie. Woods narrowly missed a birdie chance at the last to walk off in a share of seventh.
"It was stifling out there and the wind started picking up a little at the end, which actually made it a little more difficult coming in. I made some really good swings on that back nine, and hit some really good shots," Woods said in a televised interview.
"I felt in control on the back nine. Toward the end of the front nine, I was hitting it well, but missed a couple short putts at eight and nine."
Matteson got off to a quick start with birdies on two and three. He moved to minus-3 with a birdie at the sixth, then made just one birdie in the next eight holes.
Down the stretch, Matteson soared up the leaderboard. After a birdie on 15, he rolled in an 8-foot birdie try at 16 and got to minus-7 with a 6-footer for birdie on the 17th.
Matteson closed the round in style. He holed out for birdie from a greenside bunker to finish one clear of the field.
"The course is great. The grass is a lot like what I play back home. I love the course a lot. You've got to play your way around and you've got to make some decisions, you've got to hit some irons and some 3-woods," Matteson said.
"My play has been picking up in the last part of the year. I've had a good summer and I usually have not played good in the summer over the years. I'm looking to just finish strong to the year."
Woods shares seventh place with Greg Chalmers, Danny Chia, Ricky Barnes, J.B. Holmes and Jbe' Kruger.
NOTES: Defending champion Bo Van Pelt, who won last week in Australia, managed a 1-under 70 and is tied for 30th...With inclement weather forecast for later Friday, tee times were moved up 40 minutes...Ryan Palmer eagled the first and third, but played the final 15 holes in 2-over par.