Mark Hubbard and Matthew NeSmith took advantage of the favourable morning conditions to shoot eight-under-par 63s and share the lead after the first round of the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The majority of names on the first page of the leaderboard played in the morning wave on Thursday. That includes the 153rd-ranked Hubbard and the 195th-ranked NeSmith.
Hubbard made eight birdies in his bogey-free round, which he punctuated with four consecutive birdies to end his round.
"I think that's a little bit of this course. You can definitely score coming down the stretch," he said.
NeSmith began his round on the back nine at TPC Scottsdale, which he kick-started with an eagle on the par-5 13th hole. He made the turn in six-under 30 and made two more birdies on his back nine.
"Everything kind of lined up really nicely, just made it pretty easy on myself," said NeSmith, who chipped in for birdie on one of the only two greens he didn't hit in regulation.
Hubbard and NeSmith hold a one-shot lead over Sam Burns and Nate Lashley, who both also teed off in the morning.
Burns rolled in nine birdies against two bogeys, while Lashley had seven birdies on his bogey-free card.
"Everything kind of lined up really nicely, just made it pretty easy on myself." – Matthew NeSmith
Steve Stricker was the low finisher from the afternoon wave, with the 53-year old carding a six-under 65.
The marquee names in the field did not fare as well, with Xander Schauffele (five under) the top finisher among the five top-10 players in the field.
The fourth-ranked Schauffele had seven birdies against two bogeys as he seeks his first win since 2019.
"I'm in that boat of chasing, I haven't really won," said Schauffele, who finished in a tie for second at last week's Farmers Insurance Open.
"My world ranking's gone up and I am playing more consistent golf. But I'm still not doing what I want to do. I guess it's a good thing that it keeps me hungry and keeps me humble, but the ultimate goal is winning."
Australian Matt Jones carded a 68 to be in a tie for 21st while Jason Day finished three shots behind on even par.
World No.2 Jon Rahm and No.3 Justin Thomas entered as the pre-tournament favourites and played in a group along with Harris English.
Rahm settled for a three-under 68 while Thomas finished with a one-under 70.