Adam Scott has continued his late-season resurgence to be well-placed after the first round of the PGA Tour's opening FedExCupCup playoff event in New Jersey
Heavyweights Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas set a cracking pace, both posting eight-under-par 63s to open up a three-shot lead over Harold Varner III.
Scott is a further stroke back in a six-way tie for fourth after reeling off five birdies in his round of 67 on Thursday.
Australia's former World No.1 shared second last week at the Wyndham Championship, after narrowly missing out on winning the event on the first playoff hole.
"It sucks not to win when you have a chance because it seems like they've been few and far between for me, but I know I can lift myself up again hopefully this week." - Adam Scott.
“I felt like my game has been turning the corner really since around June but the results haven't,” Scott said at Liberty National. “I mean, that's how it goes sometimes, but it's hard to balance the frustration and continue to be patient. You can't be patient forever. That's no good. So it was really good that finally on a weekend I shot some good numbers.
“That was a good feeling, and the confidence in the swing was there over the weekend, and that has been the difference really.”
Now Scott has further enhanced his prospects of making next month's elite 30-man Tour Championship in Atlanta, having been in danger of not even making the playoffs.
The Queenslander entered the Wyndham Championship in 121st place in the FedExCup standings, with only the top-125 qualifying for the $US60 million ($A84 million) post-season series.
He departed in 82nd spot following his runner-up finish and is now projected to climb to 48th after his excellent first round at the Northern Trust Open.
The top 70 finishers on Sunday will progress to next week's second playoff event in Maryland.
“The ironic thing is I've been putting great this year and then I miss a putt like that,” Scott said reflecting on last week. “No, it sucks not to win when you have a chance because it seems like they've been few and far between for me, but I know I can lift myself up again hopefully this week. If not, hopefully I get another go next week and win one of these things while I'm playing well.”
Fellow Australians Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Cam Davis all carded two-under 69s on Thursday to be tied 15th.
The trio were already well inside the top-70 starting the week.