Victorian Cameron Percy’s hopes of extending his PGA TOUR season have been bolstered by an opening round of five-under 65 at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
The final event of the regular season before the commencement of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, players are jockeying for a position inside the top 125.
Entering the week in 158th position, Percy all but needs a win to advance and made a blistering start at Sedgefield Country Club.
He had five birdies in his first seven holes to rocket towards the top of the leaderboard and added a sixth at the par-4 10th, a bogey at the following hole his only backward step in a back nine of even-par 35.
The 48-year-old hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation to be four strokes back of American John Huh (61) in a tie for fifth but just two shots out of second currently occupied by Korean Sungjae Im (63).
Fellow Australian Jason Day looked like improving his FedEx Cup position only to drop two shots late in his opening round of three-under 67.
He backed up a birdie at the first hole with a tap-in birdie at the par-5 fifth, his eagle try hanging agonisingly on the edge of the cup.
He made birdies at eight and 10 to be four-under on his round but gave up shots at 14 and 18 to fall into a share of 23rd through 18 holes.
It was the reverse for countryman Adam Scott who rescued his round late.
Two-over through 12 holes, Scott made birdie from six feet at 13 and then struck a brilliant approach from 215 yards into six feet at the par-5 15th.
He converted that eagle opportunity and very nearly holed his approach shot from 125 yards at 18, tapping in for birdie from inside two feet for a respectable two-under 68 and a tie for 41st.
New South Welshman Brett Drewitt is tied with Day at three-under thanks to birdies at two of his final four holes while Aaron Baddeley opened with a one-over 71.
Dimitrios Papadatos is three strokes off the lead and in a tie for 15th at the DP World Tour’s Cazoo Open, Gabriela Ruffels is in a share of fifth midway through a weather-interrupted opening round of the French Lick Charity Classic on the Epson Tour and Sam Brazel is the best of the large contingent of Aussies heading into the second round of the Mandiri Indonesian Open on the Asian Tour.