Lee and Wi set early Pebble Beach pace

New Zealander Danny Lee and South Korean Charlie Wi thrived in near-perfect scoring conditions to surge into a tie for the early lead in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Thursday as Tiger Woods made a solid start.

Lee recorded two eagles en route to a flawless nine-under-par 63 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three venues being used this week, while Wi opened with a nine-under 61 at Monterey Peninsula.

American Ken Duke covered the back nine in a record eight-under 28 at Pebble Beach to complete a 64, finishing a glorious sun-splashed day level with PGA Tour rookie Brian Harman who also started out at Pebble Beach.

Tiger Woods, making his first appearance on the U.S. circuit this year, was three under with three holes to play at Spyglass Hill, the most difficult of the three layouts.

Lee, who at 18 became the youngest player to win a European Tour event with victory in the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic, eagled the 11th and fifth on his way to a share of the lead.

He covered his back nine, holes one to nine, in five-under 31 to join Wi in early control of the pro-am celebrity event.

Duke, a 43-year-old who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, holed out from the fairway to eagle the par-four 16th before finishing at eight under.

"When the weather's like this, you really have to take advantage of the golf course and the conditions," Duke told reporters after mixing seven birdies and one bogey with his eagle.

"I just kind of hit it close the whole back nine, and dunked the one on 16. When it's going good like that, things like that happen."

Woods, back at the event for the first time in a decade, made a sizzling start with consecutive birdies after teeing off at the 10th before reaching the turn in two-under 34.

Though he birdied the first and third, he dropped his second shot of the day at the par-four fourth after overshooting the green with his approach and was three under for the round with three holes remaining.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)