Pat Perez opens up four-shot lead at CIMB Classic

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Pat Perez opens up four-shot 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.

With a total of 24-under-par 264, Perez received the championship trophy from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and pocketed USD1.26 million (about RM5.32 million) for his feat and besides having a big slice of the total purse, Perez also earned 500 FedEx Cup points.

Compatriot Keegan Bradley was his nearest challenger, a five under for the day taking him to 20 under overall. "I'm still not going to workout. I'm going pretty hard tomorrow (today)".

"I did not think I was going to win this week". I'm still not going to work out.

Perez finished strongly with birdies on four of the last five holes, including a 17-foot putt at the par-three 15th.

"I mean for the last two days, every time I made a birdie, he did, too", Bradley told reporters.

Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship victor, recorded his best finish since he was runner-up at the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational. "I just didn't make enough putts and didn't capitalize on enough opportunities to have a really good finish".

American Xander Schauffele, who started the round in second place, faltered with four bogeys to shoot a 72 and finish in a tie with South Korea's Sung Kang (71) at 17 under.

The American will be joined at the Majlis course by defending champion Sergio Garcia, who followed his triumph in Dubai previous year by ending his wait for a major at the US Masters.

"I have to keep the game-plan pretty much the same really: just be smart off the tee, try to hit the fairways and then really aggressive into the greens".

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