The 21 year old is in his first season on the US PGA Tour and with two eagles in a 9-under par 63 was displaying the kind of talent that earned him rave reviews as an amateur.
Also sharing the lead were American Dustin Johnson and South Korean Charlie Wi.
Lee was the youngest ever to win the US Amateur Championship as an 18 year old in 2008 and became the youngest ever to win on the professional European Tour a year later when he took the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.
A shot behind the three leaders are Americans Ken Duke and Brian Harman.
The tournament, a pro-am with the first round played over three courses at Pebble Beach, also marks the return to the 2012 PGA Tour of Tiger Woods.
Woods shot a solid 4-under 68 on the Spyglass Hill course, with the uses of this, Pebble Beach itself where Lee and Johnson competed and Monterey Peninsula where Wi shot his 9-under 61, making direct comparisons a little difficult.
“I don’t know if it’s a good sign or a bad sign,” Woods said about his 68. “With the scores the way they are, I thought I could have it lower than I did. The guys are just tearing this place apart with no wind. I’m not too far away from posting a good number out here.”
The leading Australians were Aaron Baddeley and Nathan Green who were equal with Woods tied on 15th after shoot 4-under rounds of 66 at Monterey Peninsula.
Rod Pampling was 2-under, Matthew Goggin, Stephen Bowditch and Jarrod Lyle 1-under, Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby on even while Steve Elkington was 1-over with Nick O’Hern and Matt Jones. Gavin Coles will need to pull his socks up at 4-over.2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Leaderboard