Cam Davis' first tour of Canada hasn't been a bed of roses in a golf sense.
But the Mackenzie Tour rookie finally has a big chance to make it all worthwhile on windswept Cape Breton.
The quietly spoken Sydneysider belied tough conditions to shoot an opening four-under-par 68 at Nova Scotia's Bell Bay Golf Club, just two off the lead when bad light stopped play.
It has been a tough run for Davis, a Golf Australia rookie pro, since his bright opening on tour in Vancouver netted him a T14 finish on debut in April.
But he has since missed four cuts, was once disqualified and hasn't been inside the top 25 since.
The angular right-hander was actually tied for the lead before a double-bogey up the ninth, his final hole, left him two behind a group of three Americans.
But after his tough run, he wasn't too despondent.
"I finally got off to a good start (and) have a good chance at it this week," Davis said.
"I'm just trying to get some form, see the ball going in the hole and give myself a chance.
"It would be nice to see it all come together."
Davis rolled in eight birdie putts, testament to his ability to keep his head in the game despite testing conditions in Atlantic Canada.
"A lot of things can go wrong really quickly when it get like this," Davis said.
"You can muck around with your umbrella and cleaning your clubs, so (you've) just got to stay really calm, take your time because everyone else is taking their time and you don't have to rush to get things organised.
"You just deal with it. I kept the ball in play and my putting was pretty good speed-wise.
"I just felt like I had to get the ball on the green someewhere and I had a good chance of holing it."
Davis is ranked 79th on the Mackenzie Tour money list with the Cape Breton Open the third-last event this season.
Australia's other starter was Perth's Ollie Goss, who carded a four-over 76 to fall from contention.