Luke Donald shot a 6-under 65 to take a share of the lead after the first round of the Dunlop Phoenix on Thursday.
Donald offset a pair of bogeys with eight birdies at the Phoenix Country Club to finish tied with Australian Brendan Jones and Japan's Hideto Tanihara.
Donald won the U.S. PGA Tour and European Tour money titles last season. He is appearing in the Japan Tour event for the first time since 2007.
Japanese golfers Koichiro Kawano and Shunsuke Sonada were two strokes behind the leaders.
Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa, who won last weekend's Taiheiyo Masters for his first victory in two years, shot a 73 that had him tied for 48th.