Charlie Wi flirted with a 59 for much of his round before finishing with a nine-under 61 to seize a share of the first-round lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
South Korea's Wi, who played the easier of the three courses, on Thursday said he didn't realize how close he was to magic 59 number because he thought organizers had set the Monterey Peninsula course as a par-72 instead of its actual par-70.
"I was looking at the scorecard like what's the par here?" said Wi. "I thought it was par-72. That 59 never crossed my mind, not once."
On the 13th hole, Wi tapped-in for birdie to get to eight under. That left him needing three birdies on the final five holes to reach 59. He made one more birdie for nine-under.
"Any time you're shooting nine-under, you're making putts," Wi said. "It was really nice to see the ball go in today."
"Yeah, 59 is a special number, but I wasn't trying to stay at nine (under). I was trying to make more birdies."
Wi said he is in a good place now and hopes this means he has found his groove on the golf course.
"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't," he said. "So I kept doing the same thing, practising the right way. I knew that eventually the tides will turn."
Wi hasn't had much success here in the past and went into Thursday's round thinking he would be happy with a three- or four-under score.
"I just wanted to make sure my execution was good out there, and luckily I was able to drop some putts," he said.
New Zealand's Lee shot a career-low 63 in his first round. The 21-year-old had two eagles on the No. 2 and the No. 11 holes.
"I actually had some good breaks and I made two eagles," Lee said. "I have been playing good the last four weeks it just wasn't happening for me. Now I am starting to play really good."
Johnson has had an off year so far in 2012 which you can attribute to an earlier knee injury. But he says he is healthy now and in his comfort zone at Pebble Beach.
"I drove it well and I hit a lot of quality iron shots," Johnson said. "This is one of the best places in the world to play in good weather."
Source: AFP Asian Edition