Augusta, Ga. Kenny Perry thought he had a storybook ending to his career when he helped the Americans to a Ryder Cup victory on his native Kentucky soil and shared an emotional embrace with his father.
But that triumphant ride toward retirement is taking a stunning detour down Magnolia Lane.
With one last birdie to cap off what he called one of the best rounds he ever played, Perry shot a 5-under 67 on a blustery Friday at the Masters to share the lead with Chad Campbell going into the weekend.
About the only thing Perry hasn’t done is win a major, however, the 48-year-old could be golf’s oldest major champion if he pulls this off.
Augusta National was tougher than the opening round, but even with tougher pins and a gusts that swirled through Amen Corner and lasted deep into the afternoon, the fireworks were just as endless.
Campbell got off to another solid start and finished with a 25-foot birdie for a 70, sharing the lead with Perry at 9-under 135. They had a one-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera, who had a 68.
Anthony Kim set a tournament record with 11 birdies on his way to a 65 — 10 shots better than his first round — to get into contention in his Master debut. Phil Mickelson was on the verge of missing the cut until he played his last seven holes in 5 under for a 68. Sergio Garcia shot a 67, the first time he has broken par at the Masters in five years.
There were a record 17 eagles in the second round, breaking by two the mark set in 1997.
Tiger Woods couldn’t join this parade of birdies and eagles for the second straight day. All three of his birdies were followed by bogeys, and his 72 left him seven shots behind.
Kim was in the group at 4-under 140 that included Garcia and Jim Furyk (74), while Mickelson’s late rally put him in a tie for 11th at 141 along with Geoff Ogilvy (70), Steve Stricker (69) and 46-year-old Vijay Singh (70).