Chile’s Mito Pereira, seeking his first win in his two years on the PGA Tour, shot an 8-under-par 63 on Friday to take the lead after two rounds of the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas.
Pereira sits at 12-under 130 at TPC Summerlin, giving him a one-shot edge on Robby Shelton, who also shot a 63 on Friday.
Maverick McNealy and two South Koreans, Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim, are tied for third at 10 under. McNealy and Si Woo Kim each carded a 68 on Friday, while Tom Kim shot 67.
Chad Ramey (second-round 66), Kevin Streelman (67) and Australia’s Cam Davis (66) share sixth place at 9 under. Eight players, including Patrick Cantlay (67) are tied for ninth at 8 under.
First-round leader Tom Hoge stumbled to a 1-over 72 on Friday and fell into a tie for 17th at 7 under. Also at 7 under is defending champion Sungjae Im of South Korea, who recorded a 1-under 70 on Friday.
Pereira started with four birdies on the first six holes. After a bogey at the par-4 seventh hole, he was bogey-free the rest of the way, adding five more birdies.
“I had a really good round overall,” Pereira said. “I hit driver well, irons really good. I think I hit three or four shots inside 3 feet today. Solid on my putting. My putter was pretty good today. Overall really good and happy how I played.”
Pereira last led at the end of a round following the third round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. He missed out on a playoff when he double-bogeyed the 72nd hole to finish a stroke behind Justin Thomas, the eventual winner, and Will Zalatoris.
Asked if he still thinks about that stumble, Pereira said, “Obviously sometimes. yeah, but it’s just way over there in the past. I’m just trying to get my first win here.”
Shelton produced a bogey-free round that featured a stretch of five birdies in seven holes.
“The ball striking has been really good, but today I put my trusty putter back in the bag. She made a lot of putts for me today,” Shelton said.
He went with a different putter on Thursday before deciding after 12 or 13 holes that he would switch back.
“I told my caddie this one doesn’t feel the same,” he said.
Shelton, 27, is also seeking his first tour victory.
–Field Level Media