On a partly cloudy day with temperatures in the lows 80s, the wind gusted to 25 mph on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course on the Caribbean coast.
“Overall just a good day,” the 44-year-old Toms said. “I kept the ball in play, picked my spots when to be aggressive.”
Andres Gonzales, Mark Hensby and Kyle Stanley also opened with 66s.
Toms, winless since the Sony Open in Hawaii in January 2006, had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at 4 under. The 12-time PGA Tour champion dropped a stroke on No. 11, then closed with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18.
“You can take a run at your putts, especially in the 10- or 15-foot range,” Toms said. “You don’t have to worry about knocking them too far by. I think guys were probably pretty aggressive on the greens.”
Defending champion Cameron Beckman was a stroke back along with Kent Jones, Briny Baird, Chris Tidland, Alexandre Rocha and Sunghoon Kang.
Aaron Baddeley, the Northern Trust Open winner last week at Riviera, and Bob Hope Classic champion Jhonattan Vegas shot 74s. John Daly had a 73.
“It was tough out there,” Beckman said. “The winds were blowing harder than they were yesterday. A lot of the shots, the crosswind shots are tricky out there, especially into the wind. We were hitting a lot of club, hitting 5-irons 170 yards.”
Beckman has broken 70 in nine of his last 10 rounds in the event.
“Just being here in Cancun, well, Riviera Maya, it’s just an awesome place to be,” Beckman said. “I get great feelings being here. Staying at the resort, it’s a beautiful place to stay, very comfortable, and I love playing the golf course.”
Jones also is comfortable on the 6,923-yard course.
“It’s the kind of course that fits anybody’s game,” Jones said. “You can be a long player – if you can hit it straight you have a big advantage, so you don’t have to be long to play this course. You just have to play solid, keep it in play.”
Gonzales, a PGA Tour rookie who missed the cuts in his first two starts of the season, played the back nine in 5-under 30. The former UNLV player birdied No. 11, eagled the par-5 13th and birdied the final two holes.
“The wind was very consistent. It was consistently strong. It never really let down,” Gonzales said. You had to concentrate a lot out there. You had to pay attention to every shot out there, including putts.”