He shot 5-under 67 over the first 18 holes.
Bean, 56, who won 11 times on the PGA Tour, is seeking his first tournament win on the Champions Tour.
"I played very solid," Bean said. "Today was getting back to routine. I've played well the last few weeks -- ever since I changed my grip on the short putts to a modified claw. I don't have as much tension."
Defending champion Tom Purtzer -- the tour's leading money winner and last week's Senior British Open champion -- Loren Roberts, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, J.C. Snead and Keith Fergus are tied for second at 4-under 68.