Jim Furyk nearly knocked off Tiger Woods in a playoff for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 11 years ago. Furyk now leads Woods and the first-class field at Firestone CC after Day 1 in 2012.
Furyk shot 7-under 63 to take the lead on Thursday by two shots over Englishman Lee Slattery.
Slattery gained entry into the field by winning the Madrid Masters a year ago.
A half-dozen players are tied for third at 4 under, including Masters champion Bubba Watson, Ben Crane, John Senden, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Simon Dyson and world No. 1 Luke Donald.
Donald could lose his top ranking if Tiger Woods wins this event for an eighth time this week and he finishes worse than third. Woods trails Donald, however, by four shots after the first round.
Woods struck the ball well for much of the day, but netted few birdies. He three-putted the final hole from 25 feet to shoot even-par 70 and in a tie for 31st place.