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September 30 2011

9:50 PM

Strong pro-am helps Wi to 36-hole lead

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Charlie Wi is chasing his first top-10 finish since May.
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM It’s been an awkward stretch for Charlie Wi. This year, he fell short of qualifying for the BMW Championship -- the third leg of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup -- for the first time since 2007 and now he’s making his first appearance in this event since 2008. Along with the scheduling changes, Wi got his week kick started during the Wednesday pro-am at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He carried that momentum into the tournament and is 12 under, tied with Jhonattan Vegas and Kevin Na for the lead, after 36 holes. “I made nine birdies on Wednesday and everything felt really good,” Wi said. “I was able to carry that over. I know guys are pretty shy about playing well on Wednesdays, but score any time when you're out there.” Wi’s season has been marked by inconsistency, as well. Aside from his runner-up finish to David Toms at The Crowne Plaza Invitational, Wi has just three top-25 finishes in his other 22 starts this year. “I've had a pretty up-and-down this year, and I want to go out with a bang, make sure my game is ready for next year,” Wi said. “And you know, I worked really hard the last three weeks, so I want to see how -- I want to perform well the next three weeks, carry that into 2012.” One thing constant the four-time PGA TOUR runner-up always carries with him is his putter. The flatstick, which has Wi rated 3rd on the TOUR in Strokes Gained - Putting, has been there again for Wi through the first two rounds at TPC Summerlin, where he is tied for the field lead with 14 birdies. His 26 putts-per-round average through two days has been key to his tying for the 36-hole lead. “Golf is a funny game,” he said. “You could be playing well, but that doesn't necessarily turn into a lot of birdies. I was able to make some putts out there, and I think people that are scoring well out there are the ones making putts.”
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