Lee Westwood, the 1998 champion, posted a 6-under-par 65 in the opening round. He is tied for third place with Paul Lawrie and Richard Sterne.
Tom Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, heads a group at 5-under-par 66. He stands alongside Gregory Bourdy, Nick Dougherty, Thongchai Jaidee, Miguel Angel Martin and Henrik Stenson.
Cabrera opened on the back nine at Loch Lomond Golf Club and parred his first three holes. He moved into red figures with back-to-back birdies from the 13th.
The 35-year-old made the turn at minus-3 after he sank a birdie try from within 4 feet at the par-3 17th. Cabrera then birdied the first.
Cabrera caught fire down the stretch. He birdied the sixth and moved to 6 under with a birdie on the par-3 eighth. The Argentine closed with a birdie on No. 9 to share the lead.
'I really like the course, but I can't understand why I've never done very well here,' said Cabrera. 'It seems that my friend, Eduardo Romero, is the Argentine player who knows how to play this course. He won here a few years ago and I would love to be able to follow him.'
Little, who also began on the 10th tee, bogeyed his first hole. The Englishman ran off three straight birdies from the par-5 13th. He closed his opening nine with a birdie on the 18th to turn in 3 under.
The 37-year-old birdied the par-4 second and made it two in a row with a birdie at the third.
Little poured in a birdie putt on the fourth to make it three in a row, which moved him to minus-6. Little, who has worked with a sports psychologist since March, ended his round with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.
'I think he's been able to put into place quite a few issues that I had in the past. So far so good,' said Little. 'There is no question that the psychological side is the most important thing. Everyone out here has ability, but it's a case of believing in yourself. That doesn't come overnight.'
Former Masters champion Phil Mickelson is among a group of 11 players tied at 4-under-par 67. Also at minus-4 are Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Jose Maria Olazabal, Luke Donald and Colin Montgomerie, the 1999 winner, are in a group one stroke further back at minus-3.
World No. 3 Ernie Els is at minus-1, while defending champion Thomas Levet opened with an even-par 71. He stands in a tie for 77th.