October 13, 2017: Pat Perez took advantage of the cooler conditions by firing a superb seven-under-par 65 to seize the second round lead at the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Friday.
The American turned in 35 but benefited from a three-hour 40-minute thunderstorm by shooting six birdies on his homeward nine to lead on 13-under-par 131 at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Xander Schauffele, who was voted the 2016-2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, eagled the par-three fifth hole from 27-feet to stay a further shot back following a 67 in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
Sung Kang (68) of Korea, a winner on the Asian Tour, overnight leader Cameron Smith (71) of Australia and Thomas Pieters (67) of Belgium shared third place on matching 135s to lie four shots back of the lead.
The 41-year-old Perez bogeyed his third hole but recovered with birdies on 13 and 14. He made a charge on his back nine with four straight birdies from the second hole and closed with two birdies to move to the top of the leaderboard.
After winning the TOUR Championship three weeks ago, Schauffele is in contention for another victory in his maiden appearance at the CIMB Classic.
Did you know?
- Perez enjoyed his best season on the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season where he won once and claimed six other top-10 finishes. The victory was his second on the PGA Tour.
- This is his fifth appearance at the CIMB Classic. His best result in the tournament was ninth at the 2012 showpiece albeit on a different golf course.
- Perez, 41, is in the running to become the oldest champion in the CIMB Classic. Bo Van Pelt is currently the oldest winner at the age of 36 when he won in 2011.
- Only two players have led at the halfway stage and gone on to win the CIMB Classic. They are Ben Crane (2010) and Justin Thomas (2015 and 2016)
- Schauffele is making his first start at the CIMB Classic. He is also playing in his first event since being voted as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after winning The Greenbrier Classic and TOUR Championship.
- He dropped his only bogey after 36 holes on the par-four sixth hole. He fired six other birdies and one eagle in the second round.
- Schauffele has some Asian heritage. His father is half French and German but his mother is Taiwanese and grew up in Japan.
- Sung Kang won his first Asian Tour title at the 2013 CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi on home soil.
- He made his debut in the CIMB Classic last year where he finished in a share of 21st position. He is currently four shots back of the lead.
- The round of the day belonged to Paul Casey of England who shot a 63 highlighted by 10 birdies and one bogey. It was a welcome return to form for the world number 14 who opened with a 77. He is currently tied in 23rdplace.
Scores after round 2 of the CIMB Classic being played at the par 72, 7005 Yards TPC Kuala Lumpur course (am – denotes amateur):
131 – Pat PEREZ (USA) 66-65
132 – Xander SCHAUFFELE (USA) 65-67
135 – Sung KANG (KOR) 67-68, Cameron SMITH (AUS) 64-71, Thomas PIETERS (BEL) 68-67.
136 – Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 65-71
137 – Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 67-70
138 – Hideki MATSUYAMA (JPN) 70-68, Kyle STANLEY (USA) 71-67, Michael KIM (USA) 68-70, Lucas GLOVER (USA) 71-67, Adam HADWIN (CAN) 71-67, Brendan STEELE (USA) 67-71, Danny LEE (NZL) 73-65
139 – Harold VARNER III (USA) 72-67, Branden GRACE (RSA) 72-67, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 70-69, Kevin NA (USA) 66-73, Scott BROWN (USA) 70-69, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 65-74, Wesley BRYAN (USA) 71-68, Gary WOODLAND (USA) 66-73
140 – Ollie SCHNIEDERJANS (USA) 72-68, Luke LIST (USA) 70-70, David LIPSKY (USA) 69-71, Davis LOVE III (USA) 67-73, Paul CASEY (ENG) 77-63, C. T. PAN (TPE) 70-70, Jamie LOVEMARK (USA) 70-70, Stewart CINK (USA) 72-68, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 67-73, Camilo VILLEGAS (COL) 72-68
143 – SSP CHAWRASIA (IND)
Asian Tour Release