Kenny Perry made five birdies and no bogeys on Friday.
Jeff Roberson/AP
Saturday, May 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Longtime Kentucky pals Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry have shared a massive gallery the first two rounds of the Senior PGA Championship. Now, they also share the lead.

``It's been a great couple of days,'' Cochran said after the pair each shot 5-under-66 on Friday. ``He's one of my best friends. We had a good time out there.''

Cochran and Perry had matching 69s in the opening round and they tied for the best round Friday. They bonded in high school in Paducah, a three-hour drive from St. Louis, and when they play together for the third straight day Saturday the following is likely to grow.

``It's been pretty neat for me to play alongside him for the last two days and for both of us to play tremendous,'' Perry said. ``We play a lot together.''

The relationship is tight enough that Perry can joke that at dinners Cochran is ``like a woman'' with non-stop patter.

``He's got more stories. He's hilarious. He's so fun to be around, and I'm always the guy listening,'' Perry said. ``He controls everything when we're out.''

On the course, Cochran admires Perry's control, rhythm and power.

``The only thing I have to watch out for is Kenny hits it a long way,'' Cochran said. ``When someone hammers it you want to jump up and swing a little harder than you should.

``So, I try not to do that.''

Japan's Kiyoshi Murota was two strokes back after a 70. Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf, tied for the lead after the first round, matched Loren Roberts at 4 under. Roberts had a 68, and Haas and Waldorf shot 72.

The 54-year-old Cochran tied for seventh in the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive won by Nick Price. Cochran was tied for second after two rounds before falling back with a 76.

The left-hander began play on the back nine and had five birdies in a span of six holes, peaking at 8 under before a bogey on No. 6. He was proudest of a birdie on perhaps the most challenging hole on the course, the 477-yard par 4 at No. 10 with a creek guarding the green, hitting a 5-iron approach to about 4 feet.

``I kind of felt like I hit the lottery a little bit,'' Cochran said. ``Anytime you birdie that hole, you really feel like you've done something good.''

The 52-year-old Perry had five birdies in a bogey-free round, helped by a handful of 300-plus drives. Though somewhat new to the Champions Tour, he has been impressed by the consistency.

``They don't back up out here,'' Perry said. ``You've got to keep your foot on the gas pedal, keep making birdies.''

Waldorf had a rocky round with six bogeys and five birdies, and joked when he was asked for a recap, ``Oh great, my whole card we're going to go through.''

Defending champion Roger Chapman just made the cut at 4 over after a 74.

``I haven't played very well this week,'' Chapman said. ``So yeah, if I make the cut it's a bonus.''

Bernard Langer made a 12-stroke improvement with a 67 and also was 4 over, rebounding from an opening round marred by consecutive triple bogeys.

Georgia club pro Sonny Skinner, who was a stroke back after the first round, shot 73. He was among 10 players, including Tom Watson, at 2 under.

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