Edward Fryatt, son of the former footballer Jim, is one shot off the lead after the opening day of the MCI Classic in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The 29-year-old, who celebrated his birthday last week, fired a four-under-par 67 to share second place with Sean Murphy, trailing only Dan Forsman.
Fryatt was born in Rochdale but has lived in Las Vegas for 25 years, and spent four years playing the Asian Tour. This is his first PGA Tour season.
Fryatt, winner of the 1998 Omega Tour Order of Merit when he won the China Open and Malaysian Open, got to five under before bogeying the final hole. "I probably hit my worst drive of the day there," he said.
A failure on the Nike Tour in 1995, Fryatt joined the Asian Tour and won the 1996 Indonesian Open and the 1997 Indian Open. He earned his PGA Tour card by finishing fifth on last year's Buy.com - formerly Nike - Tour.
"I had some big years in Asia, and I learned a lot," Fryatt said. "All the things I learned, how to play under pressure, paid off on the Nike Tour last year. Hopefully, they'll pay off this year, too."
Davis Love III, the four-time Heritage winner, Ernie Els and Tim Herron were a shot back at three under.
Last week's Masters winner, Vijay Singh, applauded at every grandstand he passed, finished with a 70. "It was difficult out there, no question about it," he said. "But I was happy with the way I hit the ball, kept myself focused."Reuse content