The Queenslander, who is precariously placed at No.121 in the rankings, is targeting a high finish with only the top 125 advancing to the $US60 million ($A81 million) competition.

Scott's four-under 66 in a suspended opening round on Thursday left him tied 19th at Sedgefield Country Club, four shots behind leader Russell Henley.

The 2013 Masters winner, who mixed three birdies and two bogeys on his front nine, came home strong with four birdies and a lone bogey to leave him handily placed in the PGA Tour's final regular-season event.

"I would like to play well this week and get a chance to play next week and keep getting my game into place," Scott said. β€œIt's hard to improve your game when you don't have a chance to play, so at the moment my goal is to just keep playing week after week.”

β€œI hit a lot of good iron shots, a couple bogeys that were a bit soft, but hopefully I can have a couple days where I clean them up and get myself right in the mix.”

Henley shot an eight-under 62, his lowest round in more than two years as he birdied three of his final four holes for a two-stroke lead over Sung Kang, Ted Potter Jr., Chris Kirk, Hudson Swofford, Scott Piercy and Michael Thompson.

Adam Hadwin also was six-under, but had two holes left when darkness ended play.

Past champion Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner led a group of 10 another stroke behind at 65 with many, like Scott, scrambling to make the playoffs that start next week at the Northern Trust.

Henley, at No.46 in the standings, had no worries about the postseason, but came out fast with a bogey-free round in chasing his first PGA Tour victory in four years.

He moved in front with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th before closing with birdies on 17 and 18, the last with a 20-foot putt. He had with his lowest round on Tour since a career-low 61 at the John Deere Classic in 2019.

Henley has played some solid golf of late. He was tied for the 36-hole lead at the U.S. Open in June, then had two straight top-20 finishes before missing the cut at The Open.

"I haven't won in years, so I feel like as well as I've been playing, I feel like I've underachieved a little bit," he said.

"My mindset," Henley continued, "is I feel if I can play my game, play my normal game, then I can maybe give myself a chance and that's kind of where I'm at."

Matt Kuchar, at No.124, shot 66 for a strong start while Rickie Fowler, who started at 130th and in need of a good week, didn't help himself with a 71.

Justin Rose, the Payne Stewart Award winner this week, has to finish in the top-10 to advance after coming in 138th. He opened with a 66.

John Senden and Cameron Percy also made positive starts, posting 67s to be five behind the lead.