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Lee leads at Pebble Beach

NEW Zealand No 1 Danny Lee was in a share of the lead after the first round of the AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro Am after his best score on the PGA Tour.

Lee, who has made the cut from one of four events in 2012, made five birdies and two eagles in his superb nine-under par 63. The highlight was a hole out from 106 yards on the par four 11th.

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He shares the lead with South Korean Charlie Wi and American Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner of the event.

The course record at Pebble Beach is 62 held by American's Tom Kite in 1983 and matched by David Duval in 1997 when competitors were allowd to lift, clean and place their ball.

Lee, the former world No 1 amateur began his round on the 10th and made eagle on 11 before back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to make the turn in four-under 32.

He kept up his momentum through the turn as he made a birdie at one, an eagle at two and then added birdies on five and seven, one of the signature holes at Pebble Beach, to come home in 31 and post a 63.

It could have been even better as the former US Amateur champion lipped out for birdie on the eighth, his penultimate hole, and left his birdie shot short on his last to finish at nine under.

It is a standout highlight on the PGA Tour for the 21-year-old who made his name by making a hole in one in his second event at the Humana Challenge in California two weeks ago.

Lee is the first New Zealand golfer to play on the PGA Tour since Tim Wilkinson since 2009.

It wasn't as rosy, however, for fellow Kiwi Michael Campbell, who continues to struggle in 2012. He fired an eight-over par 81 at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The 2005 US Open champion, who has missed his first two cuts of the year in the United Arab Emirates, began well with a birdie at the second but fell apart with five bogeys and two double bogeys to be 18 shots back from the leader Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello (63).

Aaron Baddeley and Nathan Green were the best of the Australians, sharing a tie for 15th position at four-under.


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