Senior went into the championship at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco in third place in the year-long points tally and still has a big chance of sharing in some of the riches available on the over 50 tour this weekend.
Leading after a wet and windy first round were US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples and his assistant captain Jay Haas on three under.
The Charles Schwab points leader Tom Lehman was tied for 5th on 1-under while Senior had three birdies and three bogies to finish even.
Much like the Fedex Cup, there are all sorts of mathematical combinations of who needs to finish where to win what.
As well as the $US440,000 purse available for the winner this weekend there is also a bonus $1 million for winning the cup. The cup runner up will earn US$500,000, third place US$300,000, 4th place US$200,000 and 5th US$100,000.
To scoop the pool and return home to Australia next week a very happy and richer man, Senior needs to have his first ever win on the tour and have Lehman in a two way tie for 4th or worse.
Others still in contention include Mark Calcavecchia, John Cook and Russ Cochran.
Couples is probably getting heartily sick of being continually asked why he picked Tiger Woods in his Presidents Cup team but the success of his German back treatments seem to be keeping him mostly happy.
“In my mind some of it’s very serious and some of it is comical because it just keeps going,” said Couples, who guaranteed Woods a spot weeks before his captain’s picks were due.
“We have 11 other guys on the team. But it seems like it’s all about Tiger. I’ve picked him and we’ll wait until we get to Australia and we’ll see how he plays.”
Unfortunately, for some reason there seems to be no live or even timely delayed coverage of this event on Fox Sport in Australia.2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Leaderboard