He parred the final two holes but it was still a career-best round by three shots.
When seeking to defend the title he won a year ago, Brendan Steele returned to a club that helped him to victory at the 2016 Safeway Open-his Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X7 putter.
On Friday, almost five months to the day since his champagne-soaked celebration in Texas, Daly achieved another major milestone: he made his first PGA Tour cut since 2015.
Zac Blair (66) and Tony Finau (65) were 9 under, and Graham DeLaet (67) and Brian Davis (66) were another stroke back.
"I had a good time today", Mickelson said. Finau then got in at 13 under with a closing birdie, but Steele finished par-birdie to post at 15 under.
The American had a favourable bounce on the approach to the par-five fifth and holed the subsequent putt to eagle the hole in a round which included six birdies, and is now clear 7/1 favourite with Sky Bet. After pars on 16 and 17, Finau had a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th and settled for birdie and a 69. "But on the back nine, I played some good solid golf and made a late move". "I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks". This will be the last domestic event on the PGA Tour that offers full FedEx Cup points until Las Vegas the first week in November.
The Safeway Open is the first of 45 events in the 2017-18 PGA Tour season.
"I played really well the whole day", Hoge said.
Brendan Steele reflects on defending his Safeway Open title in California.
In just his second PGA Tour start, Duncan, the second- and third-round leader, finished in a tie for fifth after shooting 75. For the shortened week, he carded seven birdies against nine bogeys and a double.
However, Duncan endured a mixed time on Saturday with five birdies and four bogeys in his 71 which kept him ahead of Chesson Hadley, who could only follow up his course record 61 in the second round with a 70. A member of the PGA Tour since the 2011 season, Steele shot a combined 12-under par in the first two rounds of the Safeway Open. Daly had missed the cuts in his past 12 PGA Tour events.