Li Haotong insisted he had "no expectation" at the US PGA Championship despite taking the lead during the second round.
The 25-year-old from China carded a five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on Friday to lead the year's first major.
Li, who finished third at the 2017 Open Championship, has struggled this year, missing four cuts in eight events.
He is looking to become the first Chinese man to win a major, but said he was simply trying to have fun.
"Well, I've got no expectation actually, because you know, last few months, stay at home doing nothing," Li said.
"I just want to [come] out here, have fun."
After the PGA Tour season restarted in June, Li missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament before finishing tied for 75th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Li said he came into the US PGA Championship struggling for confidence after his recent performances.
"I didn't even think I could play like this this week, especially, like you said, got no confidence," he said.
"Probably it helped me clear my mind a little bit this week."