Perry grabs lead at 3M Championship

Blaine, MN ( - After a weather delay, Kenny Perry rolled in an eagle putt on the 18th green Saturday to grab a 1-shot lead after two rounds of the 3M Championship.

With that eagle, Perry posted a 9-under 63 to end 36 holes at 16-under-par 128. Perry, the 2011 runner-up, has finished inside the top 10 each of the last three years at this event.

First-round leader Marco Dawson birdied the 18th for a 6-under 66. He is alone in second place at minus-15.

Bernhard Langer, who won the Senior Open Championship in runaway fashion last week, shot 5-under 67 and he is tied for third. Langer was joined at 13-under- par 131 by Jeff Maggert (67), Gary Hallberg (65) and U.S. Senior Open runner- up Gene Sauers (65).

John Cook (63) and Vijay Singh (68) are tied for seventh place at minus-12.

There was a weather delay for over two hours with the final two groups left on the 18th hole at TPC Twin Cities.

"I had already hit my second shot on 18. I hit it to eight feet there and then had to wait out the rain," said Perry, who was in the penultimate group. "The guys behind me didn't get a good break at 18."

Perry opened with two birdies in his first three holes. After a par on No. 4, he birdied the fifth and seventh to move to 11-under. Another birdie on the 10th gave Perry a share of the lead with Dawson and Maggert at minus-12.

Perry ran off four pars in a row and fell behind Maggert, who followed a bogey on the first with seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch from the third.

Maggert stumbled to a bogey on 14 and Perry birdied the 15th to forge a tie at 13-under. Perry took a 1-shot lead with a birdie on No. 17.

Perry found the fairway off the 18th tee, then stuffed his second shot on the par-5 inside 10 feet to set up a closing eagle try. He waited over two hours to hit that putt as storms rolled in and the last six players were taken off the course.

Once play resumed, Perry drained his eagle chance to jump to 16-under.

"My short game is in order, but I want to drive it a little better tomorrow," Perry said.

Dawson briefly lost his lead early in the round as he started with four pars in a row. He followed with three consecutive birdies to move to 12-under. Dawson was back in the lead, but again fell out of the top spot as he made eight straight pars from the eighth.

"I hit the ball pretty well today. I played well from No. 5 on," stated Dawson. "The 18th was interesting. I was committed to hit 7-iron before the rain. Saw the other guys hit after the delay and I decided to hit 5-iron instead. The greens were softer after the delay, which we knew."

The 50-year-old briefly tied Perry at 13-under with a birdie on the 16th. Like Perry, Dawson made eagle at the last after the weather delay and that gave Dawson second place by himself.

Maggert traded a birdie for a bogey from the 17th to end three behind. Langer birdied four of six holes from the second to grab the lead, but he played the final 11 holes in minus-1 to end three behind.

NOTES: Perry has won three of the five times he led after 36 holes on the Champions Tour ... Defending champion Tom Pernice, Jr. carded a 5-under 67, which left him tied for 22nd at 8-under 136 ... Paul Goydos, who is making his tour debut, managed a 68 and ended two rounds at 9-under 135.