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Pernice Rises to Top of Leaderboard in 3M Championship
Tom Pernice Jr. fired a 7-under 65 to take over the lead in the 3M Championship after two rounds. The $1.75 million, 54-hole Champions Tour event began Friday at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn.
Pernice, a 53-year-old with one win on the over-50 circuit, carded four birdies on each the front and back nines, with his only dropped shot of the day - and the tournament - coming on the par-4 14th hole.
After opening with a 66, he stands at 13-under 131, two shots ahead of Tom Kite, who also carded a 65, and three ahead of Americans Jay Don Blake (66) and Corey Pavin (69), and Canada's Rod Spittle (66).
On Sunday, the 63-year-old Kite will seek to become the oldest winner on the Champions Tour. The diminutive Texan hasn't won since the 2008 Boeing Classic. If he can pull off the victory, Kite, who was born December 9, 1949, will supplant Mike Fetchick, who won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors International on his 63rd birthday.
Sharing sixth at 135 are Americans Kirk Triplett, who carded Saturday's low round, an 8-under 64, John Riegger (69), Bart Bryant (69) and first-round leader Mark Wiebe. Wiebe, who's coming off his first major victory on any tour after his win last Monday in the Senior British Open, carded a 71 after opening with a 64.
Tied for 10th at 136 are Americans Gene Sauers (66), Jeff Brehaut (70) and Kenny Perry (71), along with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie (69). Perry has won two major wins this season, the Senior Players Championship and the U.S. Senior Open.
Other scores included a second straight 69 by Minnesota native, Tom Lehman, who's now tied for 21st at 6-under 138.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer is not entered this week. After losing on the fifth sudden-death playoff hole to Wiebe at Royal Birkdale in England, the World Golf Hall of Fame member headed to his home country of Germany for a family reunion.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.