Perez seizes lead at CIMB Classic

American Pat Perez returned to the course with a hot putter after a lengthy delay due to a storm, carding a seven-under 65 to claim a one-stroke lead in the second round of the US$7 million (S$9.5m) CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The 41-year-old scorched the course with six birdies in his final eight holes to end with a two-day total of 131.

Fellow American Xander Schauffele, who started a shot behind overnight leader Cameron Smith of Australia, carded a 67 to sit a shot behind Perez. Smith struggled during his second round of 71 and slipped down to joint-third with South Korean Sung Kang (68) and Belgian Thomas Pieters (67).

World No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama, who was in the same group as Perez, carded a 68 and was tied for eighth after starting his round with two birdies in three holes.

American Justin Thomas, who has won the tournament for the last two years with a combined score of 49-under, was tied for 33rd after following up his opening round of 70 with a 71. - REUTERS