St. Louis, MO – Kenny Perry carded a 3-under 68 on Saturday to grab a 2-stroke lead at the Senior PGA Championship.
Perry finished three rounds at Bellerive Country Club at 10-under-par 203. He will try for his third career victory and first major championship on the Champions Tour on Sunday.
"The delay kind of threw me off a little bit," said Perry, who had to wait through a two-hour rain delay prior to the start of his round. "I was all ready to go and then I could sit around a couple hours before we could play. But all in all pretty pleased that I could shoot 3-under."
Jay Haas fired a 4-under 67 to move into sole possession of second place at minus-8, while second round co-leader Russ Cochran worked his way through an up-and-down 71 to sit in third at 7-under.
Rod Spittle also shot 67 to move into fourth at 6-under and is trailed by Kohki Idoki (68) and Peter Senior (69) at 5-under.
Perry and Cochran entered the day tied for the lead, but Cochran tripped to a bogey at the first hole to hand Perry a lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the day.
Perry quickly added some more cushion to his advantage by rolling in a birdie putt at the second to move two strokes clear of his competitor at minus-8.
He then pulled further away at the fourth with a ridiculous eagle chip.
While standing in a greenside bunker, Perry lined up for a shot with the ball on a slope well above his feet and hit a high-arching pitch that bounced softly on the green and rolled into the hole, moving him to 10-under.
"I had some magic out there with the wedge," Perry said about the shot. "I just was trying to get it on the green and got lucky. It came out perfect and rolled in like a putt. So it's nice to have something go my way."
Cochran birdied the same hole to pull within three strokes of the lead.
That deficit fell to two after Perry 3-putted for bogey at the fifth, which the leader followed with another bogey at the sixth when Perry had his tee shot ricochet off the back of a greenside bunker and bounce well past the green on the par-3 hole.
Cochran failed to take advantage of Perry's mistakes as he missed a par putt from within 10 feet at the seventh to drop to minus-6, while Perry birdied the same hole to move to 9-under.
Perry, who traded a birdie for a bogey from the eighth, would not be threatened from there and recorded birdies at the 12th and 15th around a bogey at the 13th to again reach 10-under.
He parred his final three holes to remain there.
Haas, meanwhile, made his move towards the top of the leaderboard with a pair of birdies at the fourth and eighth to meet Cochran in second at 6-under.
Haas then birdied the 11th to move into sole possession of second at 7-under as Cochran traded a bogey at the 10th with a birdie at the 11th to remain at minus-6.
The two swapped positions when Haas bogeyed the 16th and Cochran birdied the 15th, but Cochran would close his round with three straight pars as Haas birdied his final two holes to vault himself into second.
"It was nice to stay within a few of (Perry). It looks like he's really going to be tough to beat," said Haas. "But glad to get those last couple there. I really, really played well today.
NOTES: Haas is a two-time winner of this event ... Perry is the only player in the field with three consecutive rounds in the 60s. With another such round on Sunday, he will become just the fifth player in tournament history to accomplish the feat, joining Herman Barron (1963), Sam Snead (1973), Don January (1979) and John Cook (2012) ... Mark Mielke and Sonny Skinner are tied for the low club professional at 2-under 211. They are currently tied for 15th place.