The 34-year-old Yanagisawa opened with a 4-under 68 at Barton Creek Resorts Fazio Foothills course early Thursday, a number that held up until Hawley closed out his round just as play was halted by darkness at 6:45 pm.
Rookie Jason Hartwick and Tom Kalinowski, playing on a sponsor's exemption, are in the house one shot back.
Twenty-seven players will be back in position Friday morning to complete the opening round.
Adam Short of Vineland, Ont. was flirting with the lead when play was suspended. Short was minus-4 with three holes to play.
A trio of Canadians'Jim Rutledge, Mike Mezei and Rob McMillan'are among six players that came in at 2-under 70 for the opening round.
On a day when strong, gusting winds kept low scores at a premium, Yanagisawa, a former college teammate of Tiger Woods and a member of Stanford Universitys NCAA national championship squad in 1994, was one of only 17 players to finish their round with a red number.
That wind was gusting all day, said Yanagisawa. At times, it was a two-club wind. You almost had to be lucky and hit your shot at the right time. Once it is up in the air, there is nothing you can do. Ive got no complaints with that round.
Slotted into a prime spot in the lead group of the day, Yanagisawa birdied the par-4 12th, his third hole of the morning, but gave that stroke back with a bogey on the following hole. Making the turn at 1-under, Yanagisawa took what the course would give him before making his move on the par-5 eighth. Facing a downwind second shot from 240 yards out, he tucked a 5-iron in close to the flag before cashing in the eagle putt.
When you get an early time like that, you expect to be able to take advantage of the golf course, he added. You always want to get that quick start. It makes things a little easier for the rest of the week.
Yanagisawa converted a handful of tough par saves Thursday, including one on the par-4 seventh that helped set up his eagle on the following hole. After launching his tee shot through the fairway and into the trees, he was able to pitch out and get up and down from a difficult spot.
Those type of saves are just as important as making birdies, reasoned Yanagisawa. It can turn an average round into a good round in a hurry. I was able to get up and down a few times today and it kept me in the right frame of mind.
Defending champion and Austin native Omar Uresti opened with a 73. Rob Oppenheim, who won his first Tour championship last weekend at the Yes! Golf Barton Creek Classic, is also at 1-over heading into the second round.