David Frost carded an 8-under 63 on Friday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the end of the first round of the Toshiba Classic.
Frost is coming off a fifth-place finish at the ACE Group Classic last month and has placed no worse than ninth in his three Champions Tour starts this year.
"I don't feel that I need to be aggressive out there. I feel relaxed and I can let the tournament play and take care of the flight of the golf ball," said Frost. "I don't feel too much pressure in my game, and it allows me a lot more freedom."
Fred Couples sits alone in second place at 7-under 64, while Jim Gallagher, Jr. is in third after finishing his first round with a 5-under 66.
Chien Soon Lu, D.A. Weibring, Bernhard Langer and Barry Lane each carded 67s to share fourth place at minus-4.
Frost opened his bogey-free round with a 12-foot putt for birdie at the first and followed that with a 6-foot birdie putt at the third.
He then rolled in another birdie at the sixth to hit the turn at 3-under, and then totaled four birdies in a five-hole stretch starting at the 10th to move towards the top of the leaderboard.
The three-time Champions Tour winner closed out his round with a birdie at the par-5 18th to head into the clubhouse with the lead.
"You know, overall obviously the score tells a good story. I hit some great iron shots today," Frost said.
Couples also started his day with birdies at the first and third, and after parring the next three holes, he closed out his outward nine with three straight birdies.
His lone blemish of the day came with a bogey at the 10th, but he quickly got that stroke back with a birdie at the 11th.
Two more birdies at the 15th and 18th pulled him within a stroke of Frost heading into the second round.
"Just one of those rounds where I felt like, honestly, if you could shoot 67 or 68, it was a really good round. And I just happened to make a lot more putts than I was expecting," said Couples. "I've been working on my putting and short game instead of banging balls all the time and I think today it paid off."
Gallagher countered three bogeys with an eagle and six birdies to move into contention.
NOTES: 2012 champion Loren Roberts carded a 2-under 69 on Friday and sits in a group tied for 17th ... Couples has finished in the top 10 in all three of his appearances at this event, including a victory in 2010 ... Frost's best result this year is a second-place finish at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship, which he lost in a playoff to John Cook.