Perez extends advantage to four

Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

American veteran Pat Perez extended his lead in the CIMB Classic to four shots after a scintillating eight-under-par 64 in today’s third round at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

The 41-year-old nailed nine birdies against one bogey at the West Course, playing the back nine in 31 shots to take pole position on 21-under-par which is the 54-hole tournament record. His young compatriot Xander Schauffele shot a 67 to lie second on 17-under, one ahead of Korea’s Kang Sung who carded a 65.

Japanese World No 3 Hideki Matsuyama meanwhile shot a brilliant tournament low 63 to lie in joint fourth on 15-under-par with American Keegan Bradley.

“I didn’t really hit it that great but I putted good again. I’m just kind of getting the most out of my game right now.  It’s the same greens I won on in Mexico, so I really can see the line and I can see the ball in the wind here.  It’s helped me, especially this. ,” said Perez, who won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba last November for his second PGA Tour title.

Perez’s best finish at the Malaysian showpiece was ninth in the 2012 edition. Having produced a masterclass in putting at the TPC Kuala Lumpur all week, he remains well on course to become the tournament’s oldest winner.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green continued to improve with a third round 69 to occupy joint 44th position on three-under-par. The other two Malaysians in the field, Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung, are T62 (+1) and  T72 (+4) respectively.

Leading Round 3 Scores (top 10 and ties):

195 – Pat PEREZ (USA) 66-65-64
199 – Xander SCHAUFFELE (USA) 65-67-67
200 – KANG Sung (KOR) 67-68-65
201 – Hideki MATSUYAMA (JPN) 70-68-63, Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 65-71-65
204 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 67-73-64
205 – Ollie SCHNIEDERJANS (USA) 72-68-65, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 70-69-66
206 – Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 73-68-65, Danny LEE (NZL) 73-65-68, Lucas GLOVER (USA) 71-67-68, Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 67-70-69

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