Perry shoots 61, leads 3M Championship
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Defending champion Kenny Perry had a hole-in-one and matched the 3M Championship record with an 11-under 61 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's event.
Perry played the first eight holes in 7 under, making the ace on the 188-yard fourth hole, and had two birdies on the back nine and closed with an 18-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th.
Perry had a 14-under 130 total at TPC Twin Cities. His last 61 came at the Travelers Championship in June 2009 in the last of his 14 PGA Tour victories.
Kevin Sutherland and Scott Dunlap were tied for second. Sutherland had a 65, and Dunlap shot 67.
Minnesota native Tom Lehman, the first-round leader after a 64, had a 71 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with Bernhard Langer and Marco Dawson. Langer and Dawson each shot 67. Langer won the event in 2009 and 2012 and has two second-place finishes in his previous six appearances. Dawson won the Senior British Open last week in England.
Perry made a 15-foot birdie putt on final hole to beat Langer by a stroke last year, finishing at 23 under. Since the 3M Championship began in 1993, no player has repeated as champion.
Seeking his first win in 24 career Champions Tour starts, Sutherland birdied the first five holes and shot a front-nine 30, but had just one birdie on the back nine.
Lehman birdied three straight holes early in his round to maintain a three-stroke lead at 11-under, but he tweaked his back while bogeying the short par-4 seventh and had a double bogey on the par-3 eighth. He recorded par on nine straight holes, until a birdie on the final hole.
The wind that wreaked havoc Friday was absent Saturday, allowing players to be bold and aim for the pins. Saturday's average score was 69.11; Friday it was 71.99. The wind is expected to increase just a bit for Sunday's final round.
Larry Nelson shot a 66, bettering his age by one stroke.