Sheboygan - Jason Day of Australia, Gregory Bourdy of France and Charles Howell III of the US were the early leaders at 4 under in the US PGA Championship on Thursday.
Bubba Watson, Ryan Moore and Marc Leishman were a stroke back at 3 under.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, slid back to 1 under after making a brief appearance on the leaderboard with three birdies in his first four holes.
Phil Mickelson, who could take the world No. 1 ranking from Woods this week, tees off later Thursday with US Open champion Graeme McDowell and British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen.
Playing two groups ahead of them are Steve Stricker, the Wisconsin local and No. 4 player in the world, and Rory McIlroy, who tied a major championship record with a 63 in the first round of the British Open.
The first round is unlikely to be completed on Thursday.
Tee times had to be pushed back 3 hours, 10 minutes because of a soupy fog that shrouded Whistling Straits for much of the morning.