PEABODY, Mass. (AP) – Kenny Perry shot a 6-under 64 on Friday for a share of the U.S. Senior Open lead with Kirk Triplett at a record 11 under through two rounds at Salem Country Club.
Triplett followed his opening 62 with a 67 in the morning, and then Perry came from three strokes back to tie him. Perry missed a 25-footer for birdie on No. 18 just moments before the horn sounded to clear the course because of an approaching storm.
The 36-hole total of 129 was one stroke better than the record set by Michael Allen in 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska. Perry won that year.
Doug Garwood (67) was two strokes back at 9 under, and Bernhard Langer (65) and Scott Verplank (66) were 8 under. Langer won the first two majors on the PGA Tour Champions this year.
Eight threesomes failed to finish the second round before play was suspended.
One day after matching the record for any round in any senior tour major, Triplett needed a couple of saves to remain atop the leaderboard and break the 36-hole mark his college teammate at Nevada set in 2013.
“I love to beat him, but he beats me probably more than I beat him,” Triplett said about Allen. “I’m sure he looks at me and goes, how did that guy beat me today?”
Doug Garwood followed his opening 64 with a 67 on Friday and was two strokes back, as scores rose from Day 1 but still remained lower than when the Senior Open was played here in 2001 and Bruce Fleischer won at even par.
Garwood, who won the SAS Championship last year and has one top-10 finish in 2017, has been fighting back injuries – a herniated disk, arthritis, bone spurs and misalignment of the spine – that required an epidural last week. He has tried stretching, but on Tuesday he had to interrupt his practice round to lie down.
“Usually, the best thing is just laying on my butt,” he said, comparing himself to a three-legged dog that just needs to change the way it runs. “I’ve got to quit trying to run like a four-legged dog and just run like a three-legged dog. What I got is what I got.”
Garwood said he went to see Dr. Robert Watkins, who has treated Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, but there was little he could do.
“He said, well, do you have to golf? I said, well …,” Garwood said. “None of them wanted to operate. It did go away, but as soon as I start golfing and twisting, it just comes back. It’s not totally debilitating, but when you’re try to play at a high level, a little bit matters.”
Among the notables making the weekend was 67-year-old Tom Watson, who shot back-to-back 69s after missing the cut at the Senior PGA Championship last month.
Defending champion Gene Sauers was at 5 over and was projected to miss the cut on the number.