James Oh, Doug McGuigan and Jace Bugg share second place at 7-under.
Sanders was 5-under after 11 holes but dropped a shot at the next hole, the 12th at The Golf Club at Eagle Mountain. He rebounded with a seven-foot birdie putt at No. 4 and added three more on the way in for his 62.
'It was good for me to come back like that. I was feeling a little down after the bogey,' said Sanders, a 23-year-old tour rookie. 'I think I prepared well all week long, and got in some good practice. Hopefully I can build on that Friday.'
Sanders watched Jeff Quinney run away to a six-shot victory last week at the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch. With easy scoring conditions this week, Sanders thinks the leaderboard will be tighter than last.
'I think it has to be that way out here. There will be some low numbers put up in these conditions,' said Sanders. 'I don't see anyone winning going away. But tomorrow is another day. I just want to get out early, try to post a good score and see if I can get some people to chase me.'
Mark Slawter, Dave Christensen, Roger Harrison, Jamie Welder, David Mathis, Mark Johnson and Scott Gutschewski are tied for fifth place at 6-under-par 64.
Full-field scores from the Scottsdale Swing at Eagle Mountain