Christiaan Bezuidenhout made a slow start on Thursday in the first round of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana with a one-under-par 71.
That puts him in a share of 35th in the season finale of the tour, and the last event in which Bezuidenhout has a chance to make sure he has playing status on the PGA Tour for next season. The top 25 players not already exempt on the Korn Ferry Tour list will get their cards, and, as things currently stand, Bezuidenhout is projected to finish in 24th place.
So there is work to do for the South African, who had three birdies and two bogeys in his opening round. He started on the 10th hole, and immediately made birdie, but bogeys at 12 and 13 saw him reach the turn in one-over. A steady homeward nine was capped with consecutive birdies on eight and nine, and he finished the day eight shots off the lead held by American Trey Mullinax at none-under.
The other South African in the field, Dawie van der Walt, carded a two-under 70 to start for a share of 16th. He is projected into 20th place on that critical list.