Here is a recap of the second round of the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s West Course in Malaysia:
LEADING: Pat Perez birdied six of his last eight holes Friday, closing in 6-under 30 for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead in Malaysia.
He did it, too, despite a four-hour rain delay interrupting his round.
Perez actually started the round with an early bogey at the 12th (he teed off on No. 10). He then birdied 13 and 14 before his final-nine barrage. Perez is 13 under overall for the tournament and has just one bogey in 36 holes.
The 41-year-old’s best finish in this event since it became an official PGA Tour tournament is a tie for 33rd, although he did place solo ninth in 2012 before it earned PGA Tour status.
Perez had a resurgence in 2016-17, returning strong from injury to earn his second career PGA Tour win and put together a season that eventually got him to the Tour Championship. In his opening event of the 2017-18 campaign, he’s well on his way to a worthy follow-up season.
CHASING: Xander Schauffele, the 23-year-old PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, maintained his position one off the lead as he used an eagle and four birdies to fire a 5-under 67 and reach 12 under. The mature Schauffele recently won the Tour Championship for his second PGA Tour title in three months (and overall). The leaderboard spreads out after this top pair. Thomas Pieters, Cameron Smith (the first-round leader) and Sung Kang are all tied for third at 9 under.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Luke List dumps one in the water at the par-5 fifth and then holes out for an incredible birdie! List is tied for 23rd at 4 under.
QUOTABLE: “I didn’t think I really played that well. I got off to a slow start, I was 1 over through four (Editor’s Note: through three). We had the break, and … I like the front (nine), I play better on the front.” – Pat Perez, via the Associated Press, on his second round
SHORT SHOTS: Keegan Bradley sits in solo sixth at 8 under. … Hideki Matsuyama seems to be emerging from his recent slump, as he opens 70-68 to sit T-8 at 6 under. … Danny Lee shoots 65 to rocket 52 spots to T-8 at 6 under. … Brendan Steele, last week’s Safeway Open champion, is also T-8. … Kevin Na fires a 73 to drop 10 spots to a tie for 15th at 5 under. … Paul Casey posts a stunning turnaround, following an opening 77 with a 63 to move from 5 over to 4 under and jump from T-72 to T-23. … Two-time defending champion Justin Thomas is in a tie for 33rd at 3 under.