Sean O'Hair says his game is going in the right direction, and a 5-under 66 gave him more evidence Thursday in Valspar Championship.

He made eight birdies — four of them on the par 3s — in pleasant conditions for his lowest score in the opening round since Las Vegas in October 2013.

He was one shot ahead of Henrik Stenson, Justin Thomas and Derek Ernst, whose game has been on the skids since his lone victory at Quail Hollow two years ago.

O'Hair won at Innisbrook in 2008.

Stenson is playing the Copperhead course at Innisbrook for the first time. He struggled on the range under the lights Thursday morning, and then made enough birdies early to post a 67.

Ernie Els was among those at 69.