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KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Tom Pernice Jr. birdied his final four holes for a 12-under 60 and a four-stroke lead Friday in the Champions Tour's Hawaii Championship.
"That's awesome to shoot 12-under 60," Pernice said. "I just want to have another good day tomorrow."
Pernice finished a stroke off the tour record of 59 set by Kevin Sutherland last month in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, New York.
Davis Love III opened with a 69 in his Champions Tour debut. The 20-time PGA Tour winner turned 50 in April.
Pernice played his final nine holes — the front nine at Kapolei Golf Club — in 7-under 29, also birdieing Nos. 1, 2 and 4. He had five birdies on his opening nine.
On the last four holes, he hit wedge to 6 feet on the par-4 sixth, a lob wedge to 10 feet on the par-5 seventh, chipped in from 25 feet on the par-3 eighth, and hit a lob wedge to a foot on the par-4 ninth.
"I hit the ball really good in the pro-am yesterday and hit good shots on the range this week and had good practice sessions," Pernice said. "The greens are really good. I putted well today."
The 55-year-old Pernice tied the tour record for birdies with 12. Walter Morgan set the mark in the 2002 AT&T Canada Senior Open, Fred Couples matched it at the 2011 AT&T Championship and Sutherland accomplished the feat in his 59.
A two-time winner on the PGA Tour winner, Pernice won the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his third Champions Tour title.
Michael Allen was second after a 64. He's fighting a cold.
"I got sick Tuesday night. It's not fun," Allen said. "I putted well and, basically with a cold, I played one shot at a time. I rolled the ball beautifully today."
Joey Sindelar and Scott Dunlap shot 65, and Jay Haas, Vijay Singh, Paul Goydos, Jim Carter and Mike Goodes followed at 66.
Guy Boros and Skip Kendall also made their tour debuts. They shot 69.
Bernhard Langer, the tour leader with five victories, skipped the tournament to play in a European Senior Tour event in Germany.
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