Tiger Woods, the No. 1 player in the world, played competitively for the first time in weeks and showed some rust. He only managed an even-par 72 and is tied for 27th place.
Woods began on the back nine Thursday and birdied his first hole from 4 feet. He landed in a hazard at the 11th, took a drop and ultimately left with a double-bogey.
Woods got back to even par for the championship with a birdie at the short, par-4 16th. He recorded another birdie at two and reached 2 under par thanks to a 3-foot birdie putt at three.
The reigning British Open and PGA Championship winner missed a makeable birdie try at the fifth, then hit a terrible tee ball at the par-3 sixth, followed with an awful chip and walked off with bogey.
Woods, who finished second in this event last year, bogeyed the par-5 eighth to fall back to even-par.
'I was in position to get to 4 under par,' said Woods. 'Unfortunately, I went the other way. I left myself an awful lot of work with three days to go and these guys all playing well.'
Former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, Scotland's Marc Warren and Yong- Eun Yang are knotted in second place at 6-under-par 66.
This is technically the season-opening event for the 2007 European Tour schedule, a few weeks removed from the Volvo Masters, which ended the 2006 campaign.
Padraig Harrington, who won the 2006 Order of Merit title recently, carded a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday. He is tied for fifth place with Chawalit Plaphol.
Randhawa began his round on the first tee and tallied three birdies in his first five holes. He added another front-nine birdie at the par-5 eighth to make the turn at 4-under 32.
Randhawa birdied the 10th to get to minus-5 for the championship. He took advantage of Sheshen International's final par-5s with birdies at 16 and a 4-footer at the last to move into sole possession of the lead.
Campbell teed off on the back nine first and birdied the 11th and 14th holes. He closed his first nine with back-to-back birdies, including a 6-footer at the last.
The 2005 U.S. Open winner at Pinehurst recorded birdies at five and nine to get within one of the lead.
Warren flew out of the gate on Thursday with six birdies in his first eight holes. He became the first player in the tournament to reach minus-7 with a birdie at the 11th.
Warren bogeyed 13, then fell victim to some bad fortune at 15. His ball was moved by a spectator, costing him a stroke, but Warren drained a 35-footer to save bogey.
He drained another long putt, this time for birdie at the 16th, but squandered makeable birdie chances at the final two holes.
Yang nearly made it through the opening round flawless, but a bogey at the par-3 12th tripped him. He collected three birdies after his lone miscue to tie for second place after round one.
Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen, K.J. Choi, John Bickerton, Alejandro Canizares and Johan Edfors are tied for seventh place at 4-under-par 68.
World No. 2 Jim Furyk and defending champion David Howell both struggled on Thursday. The pair both shot rounds of 1-over-par 73 and are part of a group tied for 38th place.