Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Pat Perez leads CIMB Classic by a stroke at halfway stage

Justin Thomas Pat Perez know first-hand the rich rewards of Malaysia			Getty Images Justin Thomas Pat Perez know first-hand the rich rewards of Malaysia Getty Images
Sammy Stanley | 13 October, 2017, 16:01

American Pat Perez returned to the course with a hot putter after a lengthy delay due to a storm, carding a seven-under-par 65 to claim a one-stroke lead in the second round of the $7 million CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

World number three Hideki Matsuyama, who was in the same group as Perez, carded a 68 and was tied for eighth after starting his round with two birdies in three holes.

The American is the man of the moment after a superb season during which he racked up five wins including a maiden major victory and was named the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Lahiri, playing the CIMB Classic for the sixth time, has great affinity for the TPC Kuala Lumpur, which till 2015 was called the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, when he won the 2015 Malaysian Open.

But the American, who started on the 10th, faltered after his promising start and hit three bogeys, leaving him to play catch-up against Smith.

At 41 Pat Perez is proving his doubters wrong at the Players Championship
Pat Perez leads CIMB Classic by a stroke at halfway stage

Justin Thomas said Wednesday he hoped to ride a wave of recent success to the "unbelievable achievement" of a third victory in a row at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

Smith scored eight birdies to become the solo overnight leader.

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.

"I'm going to try to hit it better", Perez said.

World number two Park Sung-Hyun fired six birdies to share the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship first-round lead with her fellow South Korean Kim Min-Sun and Australia's Minjee Lee on Thursday. "I got off to a slow start, we had the break obviously and just went out, and I like the front, I play better on the front", Perez said. "I hope that this momentum will last until the end", she said.

Nadal books Cilic semi-final clash in Shanghai
The two friends headed into a deciding set with Dimitrov in the ascendancy and the pro-Nadal crowd fearing an upset. Nadal leads Cilic 4-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including victories in their past four meetings.

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