The 54-year-old Pernice birdied his first five holes — Nos. 10-14 — and had 10 birdies and two bogeys at Canyon Meadows. The two-time PGA Tour winner won the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his third Champions Tour title.
The 52-year-old Bryant, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied five of his last eight holes. He won his lone Champions Tour title last year.
David Frost was a stroke back.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 67, two days after turning 57. The German player has a tour-high five victories this season and tops the Charles Schwab Cup points race and money list.
Fred Couples and defending champion Rocco Mediate shot 68. Mediate won the inaugural tournament by seven strokes, shooting 63-64-64 to match the tour record for fewest strokes in a 54-hole event.