Feb. 10, 2012
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Former Cal men's golfer Charlie Wi surged into sole possession of the lead Friday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am following the second round of action. Wi shot a three-under par 69 at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Friday, moving to 12-under par after the event's 36 holes. Wi is three strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson at nine-under, with five others another shot back at eight-under.
"It feels good [to be in the lead]," Wi said. "That's why we practice so hard. I'm happy. We've got two more days, and we'll see what happens."
Wi is looking for his first career PGA victory in a pro career began in 1995, although he has finished second four times. He would also be the first former Cal men's golfer to win a PGA event.
"To have a three-shot lead after 36 holes is great stuff," Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. "We were at a Cal dinner Wednesday night at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club and he said that he felt really good, and was really confident about his game. He was really ready to play and so far after 36 holes he was quite prophetic. I know that he's got a lot of Golden Bears rooting for him."
Wi will play his third round Saturday at the par-72 Spyglass Hill Country Club, while Johnson and Todd will both be at the par-70 Monterey Peninsula Country Club. All players making the 54-hole cut will play a fourth and final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday.
Wi's round Friday was up and down, consisting of an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys, as well as eight pars. Wi started on the 10th hole and after two pars and a bogey to begin his round, he came through with an eagle on the par-four 13th when he holed an iron shot from 114 feet out.
"I was very fortunate to make a two on the 13th today by knocking in a 115-foot shot," Wi said. "That got me off to a good start."
Wi managed to stay in the red for the remainder of the round. He made birdie on 15 to get to two-under for the day and 11-under overall, then recovered from a bogey on 17 with a birdie on 18 to keep him there through his first nine holes. Wi started his second nine holes with three consecutive pars before his up-and-down play resumed with either a birdie (4, 6, 8) or bogey (5, 9) on five of his final six holes as weather conditions grew more difficult.
"The last four or five holes the fog rolled in and it played really long," Wi said during an interview following his round.
Wi's effort Friday followed the tournament course record 61 he shot Thursday at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club during his first round of the event. Wi's 61 is the lowest round of the event the year and tied the lowest round shot in the PGA in 2012 as well as his career PGA low. His 28 on the front nine set a MPCC tournament record, besting the old mark of 30 recorded by Brian Gay and D.J. Trahan in 2010.
Wi is not the only famous Cal Athletics alum playing in the event as former Cal quarterback and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is part of the amateur field. Rodgers and his professional partner D.J. Trahan are tied for 50th after the first two rounds (65-67 - 132, -10). Wi and his amateur partner Frank Quattrone are tied for 11th (60-67 - 127, -15).
The Golf Channel will continue to provide television coverage of the event Saturday (10-11:30 a.m. PT; 6:30-9:30 p.m. PT) and Sunday (10-11:30 a.m. PT; Noon-3:30 p.m. PT). CBS will also have TV coverage on Saturday (Noon-3 p.m. PT).