Charlie Wi leads Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic
Last Updated: 09/11/12 8:16pm
Charlie Wi: leads by a shot after an eight-under 64
Charlie Wi birdied the final two holes to take the first round lead at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida.
The Korean fired an eight-under 64 at the Palm Course at Lake Buena Vista to end the opening day one in front of Colombian Camilo Villegas and American Tommy Gainey.
Scotland's Russell Knox is a further shot back in tied fourth alongside American trio Brian Harman, Scott Stallings and Matt Bettencourt.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-8 C Wi (Kor)
-7 T Gainey
-7 C Villegas (Col)
-6 B Harman
-6 S Stallings
-6 M Bettencourt
-6 R Knox (Sco)
Click here for collated scores
Wi was out in six-under 30 but two back-nine bogeys wiped out further gains at 11 and 14. However, he birdied 17 and 18 to jump from one behind to one in front of Villegas and Gainey, who had posted their scores in the morning wave.
Wi has held the first-round lead on the PGA Tour on eight occasions but is still to record a victory. He's finished runner-up five times.
For Gainey, it was a continuation of the form which saw him record a first PGA Tour win at the McGladrey Classic on his last start.
The American, nicknamed "Two Gloves", had six birdies and an eagle on his card at the Palm and will now be hoping to go one better having finished runner-up in this event in 2008.
That same season saw Villegas finish seventh on the Money List after winning the final two events of the FedEx Cup but this year he's in danger of losing his Tour card after entering this week's event - the final tournament of 2012 - in 150th in the dollar race (only the top 125 secure their playing rights).
Two courses are being used this week and the 12 leading scores came on the easier Palm. The best score on the Magnolia, which stages the final two rounds, was a 68, Swede Henrik Stenson one of five players to card four-under there.
Wi needed only 22 putts in his round of 64, including just nine on the front nine, but didn't realise until told later that his putter was so hot.
"Oh. Wow. Is that right? I didn't know that," he replied after being told the stats.
As for his low round of the day, he said: "You know, Palm Course is a course where you need to score and all the par‑5s are reachable, so I felt like I took advantage of them really well.
"What really got me going today was no. 7 when I made that eagle putt from about 15 feet and I felt like I had something special going."