Hal Sutton was among four players tied for first place at five-under-par 67 Thursday, although the United States lost to Australia, 7-5, in the opening round of the $900,000 Golf World Championships at Tokyo.
Europe defeated Japan, 7-5, in the other match.
Australia's Graham Marsh and Ian Baker-Finch and Japan's Koichi Suzuki also shot 67s to share the individual lead.
Australian Greg Norman, the first non-American to win the PGA Tour money title in the United States since 1961, was tied at 68 with West German Bernhard Langer, John Mahaffey and Britons Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle.
Ed Dougherty of Edgemont, Pa., shot a five-under-par 67 to take the first-round lead in the $100,000 Wilson-PGA Club tournament at La Quinta.
Dougherty, 38, had five birdies and an eagle on the 18th hole for a two-shot edge over Ed Selser of Gretna, La., and Brad Bryant of Winter Garden, Fla.