Zach Johnson of the United States lines up a putt on the tenth green during round one of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on Friday in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Johnson admitted his round was a pleasant surprise, after a bout of flu cost him some pre-season practice time.
They were a shot ahead of Brian Harman, Vaughn Taylor, Kyle Stanley and PGA Tour rookie Talor Gooch.
"I've probably been off long enough now that you never know what's going to happen", he said.
Kirk, whose most recent victory was at Colonial in 2015, said a return to his old putting routines had paid off on the greens. "I really had no expectations whether I was going to play good or bad after having some time off".
"I had a great day today, and I'm about to go do it. It's laziness, I guess, not doing it consistently over the last couple of years".
Peter Malnati, Daisuke Kataoka, Matt Every and Tom Hoge opened with five-under 65s.
Spieth hit four trees with four shots on the par-4 eighth hole - his 17th of the opening round - starting with a tough break when his tee shot caromed off the trunk of a tree and down an 8-foot deep ditch that left him no good options.
Spieth's tee shot went left as the first of four consecutive shots that would hit trees as he made an eight, finishing the day in a tie for 65th. He trailed the No. 1 player by two shots on Sunday.
He rallied somewhat with a birdie at his final hole for a one-under par 69.
Defending champion Justin Thomas, who previous year opened with a 59 before going on to set the PGA Tour's all-time scoring record in a 72-hole event of 253, could not conjure up that same magic, instead carding a three-under 67, four strokes behind the leaders.
The US PGA champion is without his regular caddie in Honolulu due to injury, but has enlisted Phil Mickelson's former bagman Jim "Bones" Mackay - now an on-course commentator - to stand-in for the event he started with a stunning 59 previous year on his way to breaking the PGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record.