Perez plays it cool

13 October 2017 08:26:30 EST

Pat Perez said lower temperatures on day two of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia had played a key part in him shooting a seven-under-par 65 and taking a one-shot lead at halfway.

The American moved to the top of the leaderboard on 13-under thanks to a round containing eight birdies and a single bogey.

It's one stroke back to Tour Championship winner Xander Schauffele and then there's a gap of three shots to Belgian Thomas Pieters, Aussie Cameron Smith and Korean Sung Kang on nine-under.

I don't want sunshine at all. It's too hot, way too hot. No, I like it just the way it is right now, perfect. Cloudy, no wind, perfect.

Pat Perez

A thunderstorm during round two at TPC Kuala Lumpur meant the action was halted for three hours and 40 minutes but Perez was more than happy to see it come through and break up the previously relentless heat.

"I don't want sunshine at all.  It's too hot, way too hot," said the 41-year-old. "No, I like it just the way it is right now, perfect. Cloudy, no wind, perfect."

Perez, who started his round at the 10th hole, played his second nine in just 30 blows and reflected: "I just made some good putts. I hit a good shot on two and made a good putt there and then on three and four I made about a 16‑footer.

"And I got lucky on five, I hit it on the cart path twice and went down there so I only had 150 so I made birdie there. And I had a great save on six, good seven, and great iron on eight.

"I got lucky on nine, I hit it way left and I had a shot and made birdie. Overall it wasn't a great ball‑striking day, but I scrambled well and I got the most out of my round.

"I've just been seeing the putts go in all year and it really helps when you can start to see 15‑, 20‑footers go in and you make a great save from the rough or the bunker, whatever, it keeps your round going."

Schauffele, who added a 67 to his opening 65, said: "I'm just comfortable. I mean, everything's kind of coming easy.

"Everything's kind of right where it needs to be, I would say. I'm not doing anything stupid.  So I've been kind of playing a little boring golf, which has been working out.

"When a golfer says boring, boring means fairways, greens, you're making putts. You don't want to be too exciting out here."

Perez is 1/500 to win the CIMB Classic, with Schauffele 500/1, Pieters 2000/1 and Smith 2000/1. Two-time defending champion Justin Thomas is 2000/1 after finishing round two a full 10 shots off the pace.

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