“It’s been a great couple of days,” Cochran said after the pair each shot 5-under-par 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 consecutive day the following is likely to grow.
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 70. Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf, tied for the lead after the first round, matched Loren Roberts at 4-under. Roberts had 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 76.
The 52-year-old Perry had five birdies in a bogey-free round, helped by a handful of 300-plus drives.
LPGA TOUR: In Paradise Island, Bahamas, Heather Bowie Young made five consecutive birdies while hop-scotching across the golf course in the Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Bowie Young made birdies on half of the 12 holes the LPGA Tour set up Friday for 6-under-par 39 at the Ocean Club, giving her a one-shot lead in the middle of a long, strange opening round that had no chance of finishing because of a three-hour delay.
Severe flooding earlier in the week left much of the course under water. The LPGA decided to use the holes that were available. The hope was to complete three rounds of 12 holes to make the event official.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Leon, Mexico, South Africa’s Tyrone Van Aswegen is the clubhouse leader in the Mexico Open.
Aswegen shot 7-under-par 65 to move to 9-under 135 for 36 holes before play was suspended for the day because of inclement weather.
Michael Connell shot 67 and is at 136. Jeff Klauk shot 71 and is at 137.
Michael Putnan was at 2-under through seven holes and 9-under for the tournament.
Aiken’s Keven Kisner has shot 69-76–145.
Augusta’ Scott Parel opened with 75 and is even par through seven holes of the second round.
The cut will be made after the second round is completed today, weather permitting.