But the man all eyes were focused on was Tiger Woods, the 21-year-old Masters champion who fired a three-under-par 67, well within striking distance of the first-day leaders.
"I didn't really play all that well," said Woods, who followed his Masters victory with another win last Sunday in his first tournament since Augusta.
"I drove it great, but my irons were not that good, and I had a lot of 20 and 30-foot putts for birdies," Woods said. "I had to be very defensive on the greens today. Any score under par here is a good one."
Faxon has already recorded four top five finishes this spring, including a victory at the Freeport McDermott Classic in early April. He said Thursday's round continued his hot streak.
"It was a good round. I had everything go my way," Faxon said. "I was pretty relaxed and my distances were good. If I hit a shot off line, it was the right distance and I had a lot of [birdie] chances."
Scores, Digest, page 31