Tournament article

YouTube tutorial inspires Lee to first round lead

YouTube tutorial inspires Lee to first round lead

Being a complete stranger to the unconventional Stableford scoring format, American Han Lee had to turn to YouTube to learn a thing or two on the eve of The Players for The Players tee off.

And that was enough to help the 45-year-old ace it at the first time of asking when he chalked up 14 points to share the first-round lead with Hideko Kobukuro in the inaugural tournament which commenced at The Raysum on Thursday.

Players receive eight points for albatross, five for eagle and two for birdie. A point is deducted for bogey and three taken away for double bogey or worse.

It marked the first time Lee lead or co-led a round in a JGTO event since he last sat atop the leaderboard during the second round of the Taheiyo Masters dating back to 2012.

Lee's brilliant round on a rain-soaked day was highlighted by producing an eagle on the par 17th, his penultimate hole of the day.

Although squandering three points through three bogeys, the damage was hardly felt as he too bagged 16 points courtesy of six birdies, including five from the seven-hole stretch starting from the sixth.

Lee was pleased that he avoided conceding a double bogey throughout the day.

"That's my first time playing (the Stableford format) as a professional. I don't know how to play this system, so my caddie and I had to watch YouTube and learn!," quipped Lee, who won his only JGTO title at the Mynavi ABC Championship in 2012.

"Double bogeys are huge, if you scored a double bogey, it's not like two bogeys, you get three points minus instead. That's what YouTube had taught us.

"Even though I have a lot of bogeys, I just make sure that I don't make a double bogey."

Lee was also quick to credit The Raysum management for preparing an "unbelievable" course this week.

"This golf course is unbelievable. No matter how the rain pours, the fairways are perfect and the greens are just like American style," he said.

"It's a real pleasure to play on this golf course."

Kobukuro, 31, who has not finished better than a tied-24th, matched Lee's effort by carding an eagle, five birdies and a bogey as the pair have a one-point lead over Ryuichi Oiwa.

Nobuaki Oda is alone in the fourth spot after amassing 12 points, one ahead of Fumihiro Ebine.

New Zealand's Michael Hendry, Australia's Matthew Griffin and South Korea's Hyunwoo Ryu all registered seven points to be the next-highest placed internationals in joint-17th, while Justin De Los Santos (+6) of the Philippines and Gunn Charoenkul (+5) of Thailand are tied-25th and tied-36th respectively.

Reigning JGTO Money Ranking winner Chan Kim of the United States and Australia's Anthony Quayle, the top international money leader of the season in 12th spot, have work cut out for them after they could manage just three and two points respectively.

The last time the Stableford format was contested in a JGTO event was at the ACOM International in 1998.