ST. LOUIS — 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.