Jeff Quinney, who is playing in just his 11th tournament of the year, fired a seven-under par 63 to grab a share of the lead after Thursday’s first round of the Wyndham Championship.
The 32-year-old Quinney is tied with fellow American Tom Gainey after the opening round of the final tournament before the start of the USPGA Tour’s playoffs.
The top 125 players in FedEx Cup points standings are eligible for the playoffs.
Quinney currently sits in 215th place and needs a win in Greensboro to get into the post-season.
Quinney, who is chasing his first PGA Tour win, rolled in eight birdies, including five in a row early in his round.
Gainey had five birdies and an eagle in equaling his career-best round. Australia’s Stuart Appleby is alone in third after shooting a seven-under 64.
South African Ernie Els, England’s Paul Casey, Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson of Sweden are part of a group of 10 players tied at 65.
Quinney started and finished strong as his approach shot on his final hole of the day landed just three feet from the cup for a birdie. Starting on the back nine, he birdied four straight holes beginning with No. 12, but gave one shot back with a bogey on the 18th.
Gainey had four birdies and an eagle on his front nine. One of his biggest problems of the day came on No. 15 when he landed in the water off the tee, but he still managed to par the hole.
Els, who sits at No. 126 in the standings, needs a strong showing this week as he is on the edge of making the playoffs.