Mike Goodes carded a 3-under 69 on Friday and that was good enough for a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Insperity Championship.
Goodes, who finished third at this event last year, earned his only Champions Tour win at the 2009 Allianz Championship.
Gene Sauers is one stroke off the lead at minus-2 on the Tournament Course at The Woodlands Country Club.
Michael Allen, who tied for fourth at this event last year, opened with a 1- under 71. He was joined in a share of third place by Brian Henninger, Mark Brooks, Hal Sutton and Mark Bucek.
Goodes opened with a birdie at the first, but he gave that stroke right back as he tripped to a bogey on the par-4 second. After four pars in a row, Goodes drained a 20-foot birdie effort on the seventh.
"The key for me was to save a couple of decent 2-putts early in the round. The wind was howling right in my face at the fifth and I hit a good drive and made a tough 2-putt," Goodes stated. "It was about 50-60 feet down one slope, up one slope and back down another slope. I hit a good second putt from about three feet. That was a great 2-putt."
The 55-year-old ran off eight consecutive pars from the eighth. He kicked in a birdie try at the 16th.
Goodes made it two in a row as he birdied the 17th from seven feet out to move to minus-3.
Sauers also opened with a birdie on the first. After three pars in a row, he converted back-to-back birdie chances at five and six.
After a pair of pars, Sauers converted a birdie try on the ninth to make the turn at 4-under. He tripped to a bogey at the 11th, but got that back with a birdie on the par-5 15th.
Sauers dumped his second shot into the water at the 17th and stumbled to a double-bogey to fall into second place.
Defending champion Fred Funk struggled to a 3-over 75, which left him tied for 32nd.
NOTES: Tom Kite carded the first hole-in-one of his Champions Tour career on the par-3 16th, but still struggled to a 4-over 76, which left him tied for 41st ... With windy conditions Friday, only seven players broke par in the opening round.