Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – Matt Hendrix leads at four-under par, but didn't get to complete his first round of the Jacksonville Open Thursday when play was called for darkness.
Twelve players, including Hendrix, will return Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. (et) to finish the first round.
Hendrix was even through eight holes thanks to a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys. He birdied the ninth, 12th, 14th and 16th to get into sole possession of first with one hole to go.
This is the final full-field event on the 2011 Nationwide Tour schedule. The top 60 on the money list following this championship advance to next week's Nationwide Tour Championship, then, the top 25 on the money list following that event earn PGA Tour cards for next season.
Conditions were tough on Thursday with a scoring average of 73.502 on the par-70 venue.
"It was a tough day out there today," said Wittenberg, who chipped in for birdie on the ninth hole, his final hole of round one. "You've got to hit quality golf shots on this course and with the wind today, it makes it that much harder."
Wittenberg is 43rd on the money list and safe for next week.
Wilkinson is not.
He is 70th on the money list and needs a good finish this week to try and get an invite to the Tour Championship.
Wilkinson also started on the back nine Thursday, but rolled in a 40-footer for birdie at six and closed with a 10-footer for birdie on the par-four ninth.
"Those last few holes were very difficult, especially Nos. 6-9," Wilkinson said. "Those last four holes seemed to be straight into the wind which made it very difficult. The wind was really a factor most of the day from No. 3 on."
James Nitties, Brent Delahoussaye, Kyle Reifers, Jin Park and John Kimbell are knotted in fourth place at two-under 68. Major Manning is two-under with two holes to complete on Friday.
NOTES: Hendrix is 41st on the money list...Last year's winner, David Mathis, is not in the field this week...Gary Christian withdrew on Thursday with a back injury.