Tom Pernice Jr. leads 3M Championship
BLAINE, Minn. — Tom Pernice Jr. moved into position Saturday for his second Champions Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Tom Kite in the 3M Championship.
Pernice had a 13-under 131 total at TPC Twin Cities after opening with a 66. The two-time PGA Tour winner had four straight birdies on the front nine, and added two more on Nos. 10 and 12. After making a 40-foot bogey putt on the 14th hole, he birdied Nos. 15 and 18.
The 53-year-old Pernice, playing in the tournament for the first time, on the 2009 SAS Championship for his lone senior title.
The 63-year-old Kite, trying to become the oldest winner in the history of the 50-and-over tour, also shot 65 — his lowest score at the TPC Twin Cities in five years. He birdied No. 2 and finished his front nine by going eagle-birdie-birdie to get to 9 under, and birdied Nos. 11 and 18, missing a 25-foot eagle putt on the finishing hole by less than a foot.
Kite is winless since the 2008 Boeing Classic.
Jay Don Blake, Rod Spittle and Corey Pavin were three strokes back at 10 under. Blake and Rod Spittle shot 66, and Pavin had a 69.
First-round leader Mark Wiebe, the Senior British Open winner Monday in a playoff, followed his opening 64 with a 71 to fall into a tie for sixth at 9 under. Kirk Triplett, who shot the day’s low round of 64, also was 9 under along with John Riegger (69) and Bart Bryant (69).
Kenny Perry, coming off consecutive major victories in the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open, had a 71 to join Gene Sauers (66), Colin Montgomerie (69) and Jeff Brehaut (70) at 8 under.