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November 8 2012

10:00 PM

Eight is enough: Wi in lead again

Interview: Charlie Wi

Following his opening-round 64 at the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Charlie Wi meets with the media and talks about what got his round going.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Charlie Wi is in a familiar position: In the lead after the first round.

Wi shot an 8-under 64 Thursday on the Palm Course at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. It is the eighth time in his career he has been atop the leaderboard after the opening day.

Whether he can stay there is another matter. The 40-year-old has yet to win in 183 starts on the PGA TOUR.

For now, though, Wi owns a one-shot lead over Tommy Gainey and Camilo Villegas. Gainey is trying to win for a second straight start, while Villegas is looking for his first win since 2010.

“The Palm Course is a course where you need to score,” Wi said. “All the par 5s are reachable so I felt like I took advantage of them.”

Specifically the seventh hole, where Wi sank an eagle putt from 15 feet. “When I made [that], I felt like I had something special going today,” said Wi, who took just 22 putts Thursday.

Twice this year Wi has been similarly special. He opened with a 61 in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and a 66 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. He finished second and 29th, respectively, in those events.

Thursday, Wi played the par 5s in 5 under. He also made eight birdies and an eagle, which included a chip-in on No. 9 to go out in 30 before closing out his round with back-to-back birdies.

Should Wi go on to win, he would move inside the top 30 on the money list, which would earn him a spot in next year’s Masters.

“I wasn’t showing up just to play,” Wi said. “I wanted to finish strong.”

That’s been easier said than done. Wi ranks 157th and 146th, respectively, in third and fourth-round scoring average.

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