New Zealand golfer Danny Lee's distant hopes of retaining his PGA Tour card are fading rapidly after a dismal first round in the final event of the regular season.

Lee shot two-over 74 and shares 96th place with nine others in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The top 125 on the PGA Tour money list secure full cards for 2013, with the next 25 offered conditional status. Finishing outside the top 150 means Lee, 22, will have to contest the gruelling qualifying school to make next year's tour.

He went into the Classic lying 164th on the list, and needing at least a top-three finish to make the top 125.

Korean Charlie Wi's eight-under 64 gives him a one-shot lead over American Tommy Gainey and Camilo Villegas of Colombia.

NZ Newswire

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