Matt Kuchar fired a bogey-free seven-under par 64 on Thursday to seize a one-stroke lead over Spain's Sergio Garcia in the first round of the $6.6 million US PGA Tour Northern Trust Open.
Kuchar's seven birdies on the par-71 Riviera Country Club lay-out included three to open his round.
"I got off to a great start," the four-time winner on the US PGA Tour said. "Birdied my first three and all were kick-in birdies -- I think all within probably four feet."
Garcia, runner-up at the European Tour's Qatar Masters last month, teed off on 10 and also opened with three birdies. His lone bogey of the day came at the 13th, and he picked up four more birdies on his inward run -- capping his 65 with a birdie at the ninth as low clouds and fog from the Pacific Ocean drifted across the course that had been bathed in sunshine all day.
Journeyman Brandt Jobe -- playing in the first group off the first tee -- had set an early target with a five-under 66 that left him in third when darkness halted play with some players yet to complete their rounds.
Charlie Beljan was at five-under through 17 and opted to complete the 18th when play was called. He bogeyed to end up in a group with England's David Lynn and Korean-American rookie James Hahn on 67.