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Perez holds slender lead over Schauffele in Kuala Lumpur

Pat Perez made eight birdies in an impressive second round to move into the lead at at TPC Kuala Lumpur following lengthy rain delays.

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CIMB Classic leader Pat Perez

Pat Perez holds a one-shot lead over Xander Schauffele at the halfway mark in the CIMB Classic after a weather-affected second round.

Perez has finished in the top 20 in each of his last three tournaments and gave himself a great chance of claiming a third PGA Tour title with a seven-under 65 to go 13 under on Friday.

It was 41-year-old American Perez who shined brightest under cloudy skies following delays due to thunderstorms and rain at TPC Kuala Lumpur to take a slender advantage over his compatriot Schauffele.

Perez, whose last victory came at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba 11 months ago, made eight birdies following his first dropped shot of the week at the 12th after starting on the back nine.

He made his move with four gains in a row after the turn and finished with back-to-back birdies to ensure he will head into the weekend as the man to catch.

PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Schauffele claimed a lucrative Tour Championship victory last time out and followed up an opening 65 with a five-under 67.

Schauffele made a statement with an eagle three at the third and came up with four birdies, dropping just the one shot at the sixth.

Cameron Smith, leader by a solitary shot after the first round, dropped back into a share of third with Sung Kang and Thomas Pieters following a one-under 71, a double-bogey on his penultimate hole of the day damaging his chances of claiming a victory.

World number 105 Kang signed for a nine-under 68 to keep himself in contention for a first PGA Tour title, while Pieters went round in 67 to also sit four shots off the lead.

Keegan Bradley is a further shot back, while Justin Thomas looks unlikely to win the tournament for a third successive year as the FedEx Cup winner is 10 shots adrift of Perez following a one-under 71.

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