Duval won this tournament in 1997 and 1998, but had never shot better than a 65 at Kingsmill. In his eighth appearance at this tournament, he started and finished strongly, collecting an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys. It is the first time the former British Open champion has had the first-round lead since last year's Buick Challenge.
"It is nice to have a good round. I've had a few lately, so it feels good," said Duval, who has not won since capturing his elusive first major title a year ago at Royal Lythan & St. Annes.
"It certainly helps that I came here, but had I been playing somewhere else this week, following up the events of last week, I would have been quite enthused for the week and the possibilities of what was going to happen."
Duval is one of three members of the American Ryder Cup team playing here. He was 1-1-1 last week in England, where the United States lost the Cup to Europe.
"I'm playing three events the rest of this year, maybe four, I don't know yet exactly," Duval said. "And the thinking I have is I can clean up this year with three wins pretty easy, that I can turn around what's been a bad year into another multiple-win season. That's how I feel about my golf right now."
Three weeks after his first top-10 finish of the season, Tanaka used three late birdies to join Duval atop the leaderboard.