Price, playing the Laurel Valley Golf Club which was adorned with American flags, fired his best opening-round score of the year, a 6-under-par 66.
While not all players finished their rounds due to darkness, Price ended one shot clear of Per-Ulrik Johansson and two better than Charles Howell III.
Meanwhile, defending champion Chris DiMarco was one of several players to shoot 3-under 69s Thursday to end three shots back of Prices pace.
Price opened his day with immediate fireworks, recording birdies at the first and third holes, and then went on to display the kind of golf which was standard fare for him during the mid-'90s.
Six more birdies through his first 14 holes of the day pushed Price to the 8-under mark, well ahead of any challengers at the time.
However, he ran into trouble at Nos. 15 and 17, as bogies lessened his lead slightly.
Nevertheless, the Zimbabwean veteran and three-time major champion is in good shape to take a crack at his first win on the tour since the 98 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Also in solid shape following Day 1 is young Howell.
In 17 events this year, Howell is looking like a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, as he has recorded four top-7 finishes thus far.
He nearly won for the first time in July, when Japans Shigeki Maruyama beat him in a playoff at the Greater Milwaukee Open.
Now, just three shots off the pace, Howell appears to be in prime striking position again.
Also displaying continued good form on Thursday was long-hitting John Daly.
After recently ending a six-year winless drought at the European Tours BMW International Open, Daly was one of many players to shoot a respectable 2-under 70 Thursday in Pennsylvania.
For Laurel Valleys own Arnold Palmer, however, the day was not quite as kind as he would have liked.
While the King was 6-over through his first seven holes of the day before darkness set in, it mattered not, as his presence alone all week has provided inspiration and patriotism for many, many patrons.
Click Here for full-field scores from the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic: