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Kenny Perry takes 2-stroke lead in Senior PGA

With help from an unlikely chip shot, Kenny Perry took a 2-stroke lead in the Senior PGA.

ST. LOUIS (AP) Kenny Perry had an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys, mixing spectacular shots with stumbles and doing enough of the right things for a 3-under 68 and a two-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the Senior PGA Championship.


The 52-year-old Perry is close to an elusive first major championship in a career known more for agonizing almosts in the 2008 Masters and 1996 PGA than his 16 total tournament victories and $34 million in winnings. He was at 10 under overall at Bellerive Country Club, which held up fine after a rain delay of more than two hours before the last twosome of Perry and Russ Cochran teed off.


Two-time champion Jay Haas was second after closing with a pair of birdies for a 67. Cochran was three strokes back after rallying for two birdies on the back nine for an even-par 71, and Rod Spittle was four shots back after a 67.


The 59-year-old Haas, who won the championship in 2006 and 2008, grew up in nearby Belleville, Ill., and is a bit of a local favorite. He shot 66 in the first round to share the lead.


Perry had a three-stroke lead after chipping in from about 30 feet from an awkward lie for an eagle on No. 4, with both feet in a greenside bunker and the ball on the lip. The lead was down to one after he followed up with consecutive bogeys, but he was back up by four over Cochran and Haas after birdies on Nos. 7 and 8, and no one got closer than two strokes on the back nine.


Perry had a two-shot lead with two holes to go in the 2008 Masters, but lost in a playoff to Angel Cabrera. The Kentucky player had a late lead and lost it in the 1996 PGA, losing in a playoff to Mark Brooks.