David Toms and Camilo Villegas showed an early glimpse of hope for 2012 on Thursday as they shared the early lead in the Humana Challenge at 9 under.
Both carded 63 to take command, with Villegas charging on the Nicklaus Private course while Toms got the best of La Quinta.
Phil Mickelson was 3 under through nine holes before taking a double bogey at the 10th and triple bogey at the 14th en route to a 2-over 74.
Brandt Snedeker, who underwent hip surgery to end his 2011 season, made his return to the Tour and shot an 8-under 64 to share third with rookie Ted Potter Jr. and Sang-moon Bae.
Dustin Johnson, who moved up the start of his season by a week after a successful recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery, finished at 2 under after walking his first 18 holes of the year.