Hunter Mahan was bracing for the worst at Pebble Beach and instead was reminded how much he loves this place.
The rain stayed away Thursday and Mahan took advantage of gorgeous conditions for a 6-under-par 66 that gave him a share of the lead to par with Russell Knox in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Knox, trying to make the most out of limited starts on the PGA Tour this year, had a 6-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula.
The best round might have belonged to Seung-yul Noh. He played at Spyglass Hill, typically the toughest of the three courses when conditions are benign.
The South Korean was 7 under through 16 holes until finishing with two bogeys. Even so, his 5-under 67 was the best score at Spyglass.
Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula played nearly a half-shot under par, while Spyglass was almost a half-shot over par.
Vijay Singh had a 72 at Pebble Beach, evidence that the PGA Tour still has not decided whether he will be suspended for using deer-antler spray.
MATCH PLAY: Phil Mickelson plans to skip the Match Play Championship for the third time in the past four years.
Coming off a wire-to-wire win in the Phoenix Open, Mickelson said his three kids are out of school the week of the Match Play Championship and he will be going on a family trip. He also missed in 2010 and 2012.
The Match Play tournament is Feb. 20-24 just north of Tucson, Ariz.