It was like old times for Tom Watson: The putts were falling, and he was on top of the leaderboard.
Watson one-putted 11 times Thursday on the way to a five-under-par 65 and the first-round lead in golf's richest tournament, the $3-million Nabisco Championships of Golf at San Antonio, Tex.
"It'd be a nice tournament to win for my first in three years," said Watson, a five-time British Open champion and six-time Player of the Year who has won 36 career titles, but none since July 1984.
"Winning again means a heckuva lot. The longer you go without winning, the more it means to you."
Masters champion Larry Mize, who birdied the last two holes, and South African David Frost were a single stroke off the lead.
Australian Greg Norman included an eagle-3 in his round of 67 and was tied for fourth place with Mark Calcavecchia and South African Nick Price.
Ben Crenshaw bogeyed from a bunker on the final hole and was tied at 68 with D.A. Weibring and Bernhard Langer.
Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger, the principal figures in the struggle for leading money-winner and Player of the Year honors, were both at 73.
Strange is the leading money-winner with $718,941 and No. 1 in the Player of the Year standings, with Azinger his closest pursuer.
The tournament pays $360,000 to the winner. Another $1 million, including $175,000 to the winner, will be awarded according to the final Grand Prix of Golf standings, a season-long point race that culminates in this tournament.
Tom Sieckman overcame a double bogey on the front nine and shot a six-under-par 66 to take a two-shot lead in the first round of the Centel tournament at Tallahassee, Fla.
Sieckman, a 10-year pro, had a double-bogey-6 on the sixth hole but recovered with a birdie on No. 7 and played the back nine in four-under-par 32.
Tied for second place were Larry Ziegler, Tom Byrum, Dave Barr and Dan Forsman.
Andy Bean shot an eight-under-par 64, carrying the United States team to a 13-point lead over Japan, 539-552, in the opening round of the $467,000 ABC Cup at Hyogo, Japan.