Pernice sets the pace at 3M Championship
Blaine, MN (Sports Network) - Tom Pernice, Jr. shot 7-under-par 65 on Saturday to grab a 2-stroke lead entering the final round of the 3M Championship.
Pernice, who is seeking his second Champions Tour win, birdied the 18th at TPC Twin Cities to end 36 holes at 13-under-par 131.
Tom Kite also fired a 65 and jumped into second place at 11-under 133. The 63- year-old is looking to become the oldest winner in Champions Tour history.
Jay Don Blake and Rod Spittle both carded 66s to move into a share of third place with Corey Pavin (69) at 10-under.
Overnight leader Mark Wiebe, who won the Senior British Open on Monday in a playoff, bogeyed two of his last three holes and dropped into a tie for sixth place after a second-round 71. He stands alongside Kirk Triplett (64), John Riegger (69) and Bart Bryant (69) at minus-9.
Pernice, who tied for eighth at the Senior British Open, began Saturday's round two shots off the lead. He birdied four straight from the third, but couldn't close the gap, as Wiebe opened with birdies on four of his first six holes.
Playing a group ahead of Wiebe, Pernice got within one stroke by the turn, as he closed his outward 32 with three straight pars and Wiebe stumbled to a bogey at the par-3 eighth.
After the turn, the lead promptly changed hands, as Pernice opened with a birdie at the 10th and Wiebe followed with a bogey at that hole to fall one shot back.
Wiebe then bounced back with a birdie at the 11th, but Pernice answered with a birdie of his own at No. 12 to remain in front.
After both players bogeyed the 14th, Pernice rebounded with a birdie at the 15th to move two ahead of Wiebe and one ahead of Kite, who had just birdied the 18th to end at 11-under.
Pernice then added a tap-in birdie at the par-5 last to reach minus-13.
Kite didn't drop a shot during his second round, which he highlighted with an eagle-2 at the seventh. He added three birdies during an outward 31 and picked up two more shots on the back.
NOTES: Pernice has six top-10 finishes in 14 events this season on the Champions Tour ... His only win on the circuit came at the 2009 SAS Championship ... Pernice is a two-time PGA Tour winner (1999 Buick Open, 2001 The International) ... Kenny Perry, who is making his first start since winning the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open Championship in consecutive weeks, is tied for 10th place at 8-under-par 136.
08/03 19:07:49 ET