McCarron had seven birdies and an eagle to go along with a bogey on the par-71 Poppy Hills course. Bernhard Langer was in second, followed by Kevin Sutherland another two shots back after a 66. Russ Cochran and Scott Parel were next at 67, joined at 4 under by Jerry Kelly and Scott Dunlap, who shot 68s on the par-72 Pebble Beach course.
McCarron, who started off on the back nine, began his round with two birdies, and was at 3 under after another one on No. 15. He then birdied Nos. 1 and 2 and added an eagle on the par-4 No. 5 to move to 7 under. A bogey on the next hole was followed by two birdies on his last three.
Fran Quinn, Jesper Parnevik, Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie, Joe Durant, Tom Kite, Duffy Waldorf and Lee Janzen each shot 68s on Poppy Hills, and were joined at 3 under by Brandt Jobe, who had a 69 on Pebble Beach.