Brad Bryant, Tom Jenkins, Des Smyth and Bob Gilder share second place at 7-under-par 65. Four more players are two strokes further back including defending champion Dana Quigley.
Edwards opened with a pair of pars before catching fire. He drained a 10-foot birdie putt on the third, then came right back to birdie No. 4 on the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. Edwards made it three straight as he birdied the par-4 fifth from 4 feet.
The 50-year-old knocked his third to 6 feet to set up birdie on the par-5 sixth to make it four in a row. Edwards cooled as he parred the next three holes. He moved to 5 under as he two-putted for birdie on the 10th.
Edwards, a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, made it 4-4 on the par-5s as he got up and down for birdie on the par-5 12th, giving him birdies on all four par-5s.
He got to minus-7 with a short birdie putt on the 15th. Edwards sank a 4-footer for birdie at 16, then drained a 55-footer for birdie on the closing hole for a two-stroke cushion.
'I was in the first group off and got off to a good start. The greens were perfect,' Edwards stated. 'I feel like I'm playing better lately. I got quite a bit out of my round.'
Bryant, a two-time winner and two-time runner-up this season, birdied four of his first eight holes. He poured in back-to-back birdies from the 10th to move to 6 under. Bryant posted his final birdie at 15 before he parred his final three holes.
Jenkins, runner-up last week to John Harris, started on the back nine and posted birdies on the 12th and 16th. Around the turn, Jenkins got to 3 under with a birdie at the first.
The six-time winner on the Champions Tour stumbled to his lone bogey on the second. Jenkins bounced back with consecutive birdies from the third to move to 4 under. He came right back with an eagle on the fifth, then birdied six to grab a share of second.
Smyth got off to a flying start with three birdies over his first four holes from the 10th. He then birdied 16 and 17 to make the turn at minus-5. The Irishman again birdied three of five holes from the fourth to get to minus-8, however, he bogeyed the eighth to end two back.
Gilder opened with back-to-back birdies from the first. He gave a stroke back to par with a bogey on the par-4 fifth, but ran off three straight birdies from the ninth to move to minus-4.
The eight-time winner on the Champions Tour then birdied the 13th. Gilder carded birdies on the 16 and 17 to gain a share of second place.
Quigley was joined in a tie for sixth place at 5-under-par 67 by Jim Chancey, Gary McCord and Lonnie Nielsen.
Andy Bean, Gil Morgan, Mike San Filippo, Tim Simpson and Bobby Wadkins are one stroke further back at minus-4 and share 10th place.