Snedeker grabs US Open lead with sizzling start
Brandt Snedeker of the US plays a shot during the first round of the 78th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia - by Emmanuel Dunand
The 33-year-old American, the 2012 US PGA season playoff champion, stood on four-under par after nine holes with countryman Matt Kuchar second on three-under.
Snedeker opened with a birdie, sank another at the par-5 fifth and added back-to-back birdies at seven and eight.
Kuchar birdied the first and fifth as well as the ninth to keep the pressure on Snedeker.
Cool, overcast conditions kept greens moister than normal after days of heat and dry weather.
Sixteen others were on one-under in the early going, including 20-year-old Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Phil Mickelson, trying to win to complete a career grand slam after six US Open runner-up finishes.
Rickie Fowler was playing in knickerbockers, a tribute to the late Payne Stewart, the 1999 US Open winner at Pinehurst whose use of them became a trademark.