For the first time in several years at the celebrity-laden pro-am, former World No.1 Day was not placed on the same draw as big guns such as Dustin Johnson and defending champion Phil Mickelson.

They began their campaigns at the Spyglass Hill course where fans flocked to see PGA Tour stars and celebrities like NFL great Tony Romo and surfing legend Kelly Slater.

The reason for the rotation is that broadcasters can have the big names playing Pebble Beach on Saturday and Sunday when more viewers are tuned in.

World No.46 Day started at Monterey Peninsula Country Club and his four-under-par 67 has him just four shots behind the lead after round one.

Canadian Nick Taylor lit up Monterey Peninsula with a 63 and at eight under he leads by two from Patrick Cantlay (66, Spyglass) and unheralded Chase Seiffert (66, Pebble Beach).

Five-time major winner Mickelson is four under while two-time Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Johnson is a shot further back.

Having played Monterey Peninsula CC on day one, Day will rotate to Pebble Beach Golf Links on Friday and Spyglass Hill on Saturday.

β€œIt's surprising; usually I have been on the celebrity side but the draw may work in our favour.” – Jason Day

Day says that could work to his advantage, with the big names playing the ocean-side Pebble Beach in the wind while Day will be sheltered by the tree-lined fairways of Spyglass.

"It's surprising; usually I have been on the celebrity side but the draw may work in our favour," Day told AAP.

"We're going to be on Spyglass early on Saturday morning when the wind will be whipping, so we will hopefully play most of the round in the trees."

Day's ball-striking was sublime on day one, hitting 11 of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens.

His creditable 29 putts has him feeling confident of a charge up the leaderboard.

"I'm very pleased with the way I struck the ball; I played a really nice round from tee to green and I putted quite well.

"The winning (72-hole total) is usually 16 or 17 under usually wins this tournament, so I have to be very patient and let things unfold.

"I have to get a good round under my belt at Pebble Beach and then shoot something in the 60s at Spyglass on Saturday."

Day is joined at four under with fellow Australians Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones.

Aaron Baddeley is at three under while John Senden (one under), Cameron Davis (even par), Rod Pampling (two over) and Rhein Gibson (three over) round out the Australian contingent.

- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press