Seamus Power is tied for 36th but Padraig Harrington has work to do to make the cut in the modified stableford Barracuda Championship in Reno.
Power — playing for the seventh week running — made five birdies (5 x 2 = 10 points) and three bogeys (minus three points) to card seven stableford points on day one at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
He's eight points behind American John Huh, who amassed 15 points after making eight birdies (2 x 8 = 16) and one bogey to lead by one point from Argentina's Miguel Angel Carballo and Australian Stuart Appleby.
Ranked 126th in the FedEx Cup standings, Power needs to be in the Top 125 after the Wyndham Championship on August 20 to keep his card.
Harrington, who will have to rely on invitations or his career earnings exemption next year should he fail to move into the top 125, ended the opening day tied for 106th with just one point.
He began with a double bogey six after a wild tee shot and a visit to water (minus three), parred the next 11 holes and then birdied the 13th and 15th to get to plus one.
It was the round he feared after making just two birdies at The Open a few weeks ago.
"I will play Barracuda in two weeks' time for my sponsor," he said at Royal Birkdale. "Not a great tournament for me considering I made two birdies this week and that's the one where birdies count."