Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Pat Perez leads by one stroke halfway through the CIMB Classic after carding a 7-under 65 around a four-hour delay for rain on Friday.
Fellow American golfer Xander Schauffele was on Perez’s tail after a long-range eagle on the third hole set up his 5-under 67.
Defending champion Justin Thomas had another poor round by his high standards, a 71. A three-peat on the TPC Kuala Lumpur where he clinched his maiden U.S. PGA Tour title in 2015 seems a tall order.
Two bogeys compounded by a double bogey on the 12th meant Thomas is 10 shots behind Perez, at 3 under for the tournament.
Perez, meanwhile, was hoping for more gusty winds and rain after making eight birdies, including four in a row. He’s at 13-under 131 overall.
“I don’t want sunshine at all. It’s too hot, way too hot,” Perez said. “I like it just the way it is right now, perfect. Cloudy, no wind.
“I didn’t think I really played that well. I got off to a slow start, I was 1 over through four. We had the break, and … I like the front (nine), I play better on the front.”
Kang Sunghoon of South Korea (68), Thomas Pieters of Germany (67) and overnight leader Cameron Smith of Australia (71) are tied for third, four shots off the pace at 9 under.
Tour rookie of the year Schauffele said he was comfortable.
“Everything’s kind of coming easy,” Schauffele said. “Today was one of those weird days where (I had) all the breaks. I had some squirrely tee shots and a couple of weird drops. But they all kind of went my way.”
More unsettled weather is expected over the weekend.
At Incheon, South Korea, Angel Yin shot a 7-under 65 and took a two-stroke lead after the second round of the KEB Hana Bank Championship.
Yin had an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole and six birdies, offset by a lone bogey on No. 17, to finish at 11-under 133, two shots ahead of overnight leader Sung Hyun Park (69).
Park, who won the U.S. Women’s Open for her first major and was ranked No. 2 in the world, was tied with fellow South Koreans In Gee Chun (65) and Jin Young Ko (67).
On the fifth, Yin struck a 6 iron to 12 feet and coolly sank the eagle putt.
“That got everything started,” Yin said. “I made a few pars in the beginning, but that eagle just fired everything up.”
In Gee, a two-time winner on the U.S. LPGA Tour, is still hunting for her first victory of the year, after posting five runner-up finishes among her eight top-10s.
At Cary, N.C., Jerry Smith, David McKenzie and Gibby Gilbert III shared the first-round lead at 5-under 67 in the SAS Championship.
Jerry Kelly, Bart Bryant and Fran Quinn were a stroke back at Prestonwood Country Club in the 50-and-over tour’s regular-season finale.
Making his fifth start on the tour, McKenzie entered the week 64th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. The top 72 will advance to the playoff opener next week in Richmond, Virginia.
Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer birdied the last two holes for a 72. The 60-year-old German star is coming off his fifth victory of the season three weeks ago at Pebble Beach. He won in 2012 at Prestonwood.
At Monza, Italy, Australia’s Marcus Fraser carded the lowest round of his European Tour career to take a share of the lead at the midway point of the Italian Open.
Fraser produced nine birdies — including five consecutive in the middle of his round — and no bogeys for a second-round 62 that took him to 13-under.
“To come and do that today, I’m pretty proud of myself and it’s quite reassuring that I still can play golf,” said Fraser, a three-time European Tour winner ranked a dismal 136th in the Race to Dubai.
“I felt like I’ve putted well and scrambled well this week,” Fraser added. “Today I took it to a new level with the putter.”
Open de Portugal winner Matt Wallace was also at 13-under following a bogey-free 65.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jamie Donaldson are each two strokes behind, while defending champion and home favorite Francesco Molinari was one stroke further back in fifth.
At Atlanta, Matt Parziale won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, routing Josh Nichols 8 and 6 in the 36-hole final to earn spots next year in the U.S. Open and Masters.
The 30-year-old Parziale, a firefighter from Brockton, Massachusetts, had 10 birdies — eight during the morning 18 — over 30 holes at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course.
“I’m very excited for the upcoming year,” said Parziale, whose margin of victory matched the third-largest in championship history.