Percy’s five under 65 included a run of four birdies on Nos.4-7 and has the Victorian nicely perched in a tie for fifth heading into Friday’s second round.
But it is Huh who carved out the lowest round of his PGA Tour career against all expectations.
Huh made seven of his eight birdie attempts from 10 feet or closer and holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th hole at Sedgefield for a nine-under 61, giving him a two-shot lead over Sungjae Im in the final tournament of the regular season.
“It’s kind of strange because I wasn’t really feeling great with my game and (to) shoot my career low, it’s kind of weird,” Huh said. “Sort of mixed feelings, but I’ll take this any day.”
Cam Percy has put himself in good position after round one as he seeks a Playoffs start. PHOTO: Dylan Buell/Getty Images.
Huh needed a round like this. He is No.120 in the FedExCup with some wiggle room because of the players now playing the Saudi-funded LIV Golf – only the top-125 advance to the lucrative post-season next week and are assured a full PGA Tour card for next season.
“I know what’s on the line, I know how important this tournament would be,” Huh said. “At the same time you’ve just got to go and play and I think I did that really well today.”
Im had two eagles in his round of 63. At a true No.15 in the FedExCup, he already is set for the post-season and a good week might be able to sew up his spot in the finale at East Lake.
Peter Malnati and Brandon Wu were at 64.
Far more relevant was the group at 65, which includes Austin Smotherman. He is list at No.135 in the FedExCup but he would count as No.125 – the cutoff – because 10 players ahead of him have been suspended for signing on with LIV Golf.
“It’s kind of strange because I wasn’t really feeling great with my game and (to) shoot my career low, it’s kind of weird.” -John Huh.
The suspended players would be in line to receive FedExCup bonus money without playing. The PGA Tour said last week a player’s FedExCup ranking would not be affected by those have gone over to LIV Golf.
Smotherman missed only two greens and kept bogeys off his card. Three others at 65 – Ben Kohles (181), Percy (170) and Brian Stuard (148) are outside the top-125.
Also at 65 was Aaron Wise, who is at No.34 in the standings and is looking to improve his ranking going into the lucrative FedExCup playoffs.
Wise had a five-hole stretch on the back nine that he played in five-under par, including a 30-foot eagle putt on the 15th, until missing the fairway and failing to save par from beyond the green at the 18th.
Will Zalatoris, at No.14 in the world the highest-ranked player in the field, was hopeful of moving into the top-10 in the FedExCup and collecting bonus money from the regular season.
A two-time runner-up in majors this year, he opened with a 71 and now has to worry about making the cut.
Australians Jason Day and Brett Drewitt both shot 67 to be tied 23rd, with Adam Scott a stroke further behind.
© Golf Australia.