Perez, a solid performer on the Buy.com Tour but never a member of the regular tour, shot a 2-under 70 Saturday that put him at 20-under 268 at the Bear Lakes Country Club. He was one shot in front of Shaun Micheel, who fired a 67. Pete Jordan had the day's best round, a 64, that moved him from a tie for 21st into third place at 270.
The top 35 and ties from a field of 267 earn a place on the PGA Tour for 2002.
Tryon, who started the day in a tie for 61st place, moved up to a tie for 42nd with a 68. Two more rounds in the 60s should be enough to put him on the tour next year.
Gary Nicklaus, forced to qualify when he failed to finish among the top 125 money earners in 2001, shot a 69 and was tied for 13th at 273. England's Luke Donald, trying for a tour spot after turning pro earlier this year, posted a 68 and was tied for 19th.
Among those on the bubble was veteran Tommy Tolles, who jumped from 61st to 35th with a 67.