South Korea's Charlie Wi shot a three-under(-par) 69 today, and leads the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by three shots over Dustin Johnson at the halfway point.
Wi started the day sharing the lead with Danny Lee and Dustin Johnson.
Tiger Woods, who played at the Monterey Peninsula today, again opened his round with a birdie, but yet again had another up-and-down day. He shot a two-under(-par) 68, and could not capitalize on the many chances he had.
But it was Wi’s day today.
Wi started on the back-nine at Pebble Beach. He made a bogey on the 12th hole, but then his approach shot on the par-four 13th from 114 yards found the bottom of the cup for the eagle.
That moved Wi back into a tie for first place, with Lee at 10 under (par) at that moment. Later on the par-four 15th hole, he made another beautiful approach that left the ball within five feet of the hole.
He made the birdie putt and moved into the outright lead at 11 under (par.)
From there on he would start a roller coaster day, as he made a bogey on the 17th hole, but closed his front-nine with a 12-foot birdie putt on the gorgeous 18th hole. He made the turn with a 34 and a two-shot lead at that moment.
Wi did not play a stellar back-nine, shooting a one-under(-par) 35, but benefited from the fall of his nearest rivals on the leaderboard. Only Johnson was able to somewhat keep up with Wi—even after being four shots off at one point.
Johnson started on the back-nine at Spyglass Hill today.
He made his first birdie on the par-five 14th hole to move to within one of the lead at that point, but gave that shot away with a bogey on the par-three 15th hole.
Johnson was able to close the gap again and pull to within one with consecutive birdies to finish his front-nine with a 34. But after bogeys on the third and fifth hole, he dropped to even for the day, four-shots off the lead.
He made a birdie on the par-five seventh hole to close to within two, but that was as close as he could get. He dropped another shot after a bogey to close out the round on the 18th hole.
In a tie for third place are Brian Gay (at Monterrey Peninsula) and Vijay Singh, and opening round co-leaders Danny Lee and Brendon Todd (all three at Spyglass Hill) at eight under (par.)
Gay was one of five players who shot—a round’s second-best—a five-under(-par) today, and moved up 23 spots. He went into a six-hole stretch from the fifth hole, where he made all birdies with the exception of the sixth, which he bogeyed.
Add those four birdies to the one he made in the second hole, and he was at five under (par) after 10 holes. Unfortunately for him, he went even-par the rest of the way.
Lee was off to a rousing start today as he took the outright lead immediately after a birdie on his opening hole and moved to 10 under (par)—but he could not make another birdie the rest of the front-nine, and closed it with a bogey on the ninth hole.
He was able to birdie the par-three 15th hole, but closed with two bogeys on the last three holes.
Singh started on the back-nine today, and was red-hot out of the gate again today. He had birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to quickly move to six under (par.)
But then the dreaded par-five 14th arrived, and Singh had all sorts of trouble and ended up with a double-bogey that dropped him back to even-par.
He was able to make a run on his back-nine, which he played at four-under. This should give him some sort of momentum moving on to Saturday at the Monterey Peninsula.
As for Todd, he was bogey-free and in a tie with Johnson in second place going into the par-four 18th hole. But then, you guessed right, a bogey dropped him into the four-way tie for third.
After starting the day at even-par, the best round of the day belonged to Ryan Moore (at Monterey Peninsula) with six under (par). This allowed him to make up 72 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 16th place.
Moore was at seven under (par) going into his 17th hole (actual eight hole on the course), where he made a bogey. Great round for the American, he is a must-watch tomorrow at Pebble Beach.
The other players who shot a five-under(-par) for the day, were Phil Mickelson and D.A. Points (at Monterey Peninsula) and Padraig Harrington and Jason Kokrak (at Pebble Beach).
Mickelson was even-par for the round as he made the turn with a 36 after a bogey on the 18th hole. But he made one of his signature runs, playing his back-nine in five under (par) and closing with consecutive birdies.
Could this be the spark Mickelson needed? Watch out for Mickelson at Pebble Beach tomorrow, as he carries a lot of momentum into Saturday.
Harrington did his the opposite of Mickelson. He made the damage in the front-nine with five birdies through seven holes, but seemed to run out of steam and went bogey-birdie on the 14th and 15th holes in the back-nine.
For Points, his five under (par) was product of a bogey-free round, while Kokrak made only one bogey on the day, and divided his nines in two under (par) and three under (par.)
It’s still anybody’s tournament, but for the first 54 holes, Charlie Wi has been the man to beat.
But he has a lot of contenders, as the leaderboard is still crowded around the top. Tied for seventh place at seven under (par) is a contingent of nine players. Three more are tied for 16th place at six under (par), including Woods.
The leaders of the Pro-Am are still Padraig Harrington and J.P. McManus. They extended their lead today to six shots and sit at 24 under (par.)
The action resumes tomorrow, and for the complete list of tee times you can click here.
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