The Australian started his round on the back nine and got it to two-under before consecutive bogeys on 14 and 15 and another on the 18th had him one-over.

Davis then strung together a trio of birdies from the 2nd and added another on the 7th to close out his round three-under par at Memorial Park Golf Course.

The 25-year-old is in a six-way tie for second along with Mexican Carlos Ortiz, Michael Thompson, Scottie Scheffler and Harold Varner III – who all have concluded their rounds – and Talor Gooch (15th).

Brandt Snedeker made a birdie on the 13th to take the lead at four-under with five holes to play on Thursday.

Americans Adam Long and Kevin Streelman, who both carded rounds of 68, are in a six-strong group at two-under.


Australians Matt Jones (69) and Greg Chalmers (one-under after 13 holes) are in a share of 14th while late starters Adam Scott and Jason Day are both one-over mid-way through their opening rounds.

Jordan Spieth squandered a good start with a back-nine collapse in the last tournament before next week's Masters.

Former World No.1 Spieth, seeking his first win since the 2017 Open Championship, held a share of the lead through 12 holes before making two bogeys and two double-bogeys en route to a three-over 73.

"Well, 15, 16, 17 are where you can make some birdies, but you can also get into some trouble," Spieth said.

"So some risk-reward when you're attacking stuff or whether you are or not on those few holes."

Defending champion Lanto Griffin, playing in a group with Spieth and four-times major winner Brooks Koepka (72), was one under through 13 holes but bogeyed three of his final five holes for an opening two-over 72.

Top ranked Dustin Johnson, in his first start since testing positive for COVID-19, World No.11 Tyrell Hatton and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson were among the late starters.