Hot putter sees Wi take charge
Last updated: 9th November 2012
Despite two bogeys on the back nine, Charlie Wi holds a one-shot lead after the first round of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Wi's eight-under round of 64 puts him just ahead of Camilo Villegas and Tommy Gainey at a tournament that is being played across two courses - the Magnolia Course and the Palm Course at Disney.
Having taken the turn at the Palm Course in 30, Wi bogeyed the 12th and 15th to drop back into the pack, but birdies at the last two holes ensured he took the lead heading into Friday's action.
The South Korean had a red-hot putter to thank for his fine round as he required just 22 putts over the 18 holes.
"Oh. Wow. Is that right? I didn't know that," Wi said when told of his putting prowess.
"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."
One shot back Gainey finds himself in the mix once more after winning the McGladrey Classic last time out. The tournament is one that the American has had some success at in the past, securing the runners-up spot in 2008.
Gainey had six birdies and an eagle to thank for his 65, with a lone bogey at the 16th blotting his copybook.
While Gainey may be coming off a successful run, he's joined at seven-under by a man who desperately needs some success in Villegas.
The Colombian started the tournament - the final Tour event of the year - placed 150th on the money list, with only the top 125 players retaining their cards for 2013.
The former world number seven who has fallen on tough times admits that he's more than aware that he needs a strong showing this week.
"Trust me, people remind you, 'Hey, you're 150th on the money list.' And I'm kind of like, 'Life is good. Just keep going.' If you're good at this game, if you're out, you'll be back in. Who knows? Just take it one shot at a time," he said.
Scotland's Russell Knox is one shot further back in a tie for fourth alongside the American trio of Brian Harman, Scott Stallings and Matt Bettencourt.
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