The 38-year-old fired an opening round three-under 69 to sit in a tie for 17th, three shots behind the leader Si Woo Kim.

Jones' only Masters appearance came in 2014 and he missed the cut after rounds of 74 and 78.

Rod Pampling and Aaron Baddeley made steady starts to finish one under but Curtis Luck (73), John Senden (74) and Cameron Davis (74) struggled at TPC San Antonio.

Kim reeled off five birdies in six holes en route to the first-round lead.

The South Korean carded six-under-par 66 for a one-stroke advantage over Mexican Abraham Ancer, Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas and Americans Chris Stroud and JT Poston.

Jones is three shots behind first-round leader Si Woo Kim. PHOTO: Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

Kim's place at next week's Masters is already assured but the four players behind him need to win on Sunday to punch the final ticket to the first major championship of the year.

Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, among only a handful of the big names using the Texas Open to tune-up for the Masters, both shot 68 on an unusually benign day in a typically windy location.

A strong week would also be a nice tonic for World No.61 Kim, who has struggled over the past month.

Starting his round at the 10th, he was plodding at even par after seven holes but birdied the next two with putts of five feet before slipping with a bogey at the 1st.

He responded magnificently with five birdies in the next six holes to grab the lead.

"If I'm reading (the greens) good I can putt well," he said.