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Pat Perez leads CIMB Classic by a stroke at halfway stage

13 October, 2017, 16:52 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Australian Smith leads by one at CIMB Classic

Keegan Bradley is a further shot back, while Justin Thomas looks unlikely to win the tournament for a third successive year as the FedEx Cup victor is 10 shots adrift of Perez following a one-under 71.

Perez has finished in the top 20 in each of his last three tournaments and gave himself a great chance of claiming a third PGA Tour title with a seven-under 65 to go 13 under on Friday.

Perez, twice a victor on the PGA Tour, turned in 35 but it was from then on that his round really came together.

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.

Overnight leader, Cameron Smith of Australia, Kang Sung-hoon of South Korea and Thomas Pieters of Belgium were tied in third place, accumulating identical nine-under-par 135.

American Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship victor, scored 71 to lie sixth, one shot ahead of Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Matsuyama finished runner-up at the event in Malaysia previous year, losing out to American Justin Thomas by three strokes, and he is fancied to challenge for victory once again.

Thomas had another mixed round as five birdies were contrasted by two bogeys and a double bogey six on the 12th.

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