Starting the tournament on the back nine, Leishman made bogey on the 12th hole and followed that with a triple-bogey seven to be four over after his first four holes at Harbour Town Golf Links.

The World No.16 made three birdies after the turn to card a one-over-par 72 and be tied for 69th, along with fellow Australian Rod Pampling.

Coming off a tie for fifth at the Masters, Smith had five birdies and two bogeys in a round of 68.

At three under, he is four shots off the pace and tied for 10th.

John Senden (69) is tied for 20th at two under.

Smith is the best-placed Australian and sits in a tie for 10th after opening with three-under 68. PHOTO: Tyler Lecka/Getty Images.

Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley shot 73 to be two over while Greg Chalmers (76) is five over.

South African Rory Sabbatini is the first-round leader after a flawless seven-under 64.

He leads Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel, Chesson Hadley and John Huh by two shots with top-ranked Dustin Johnson five shots behind.

Sabbatini tweaked his back this week while working on his swing.

"I was just happy to be able to play today," Sabbatini, who is 190th in the world rankings, told Golf Channel.

"I was just trying to simplify everything and wasn't trying to hit it hard, just put it in the fairway, find the greens."