Pernice used an 18th-hole birdie to end two rounds at 13-under-par 131 at TPC Twin Cities.
Also registering a 65 Saturday was 63-year-old Tom Kite, who is in contention to become the oldest-ever player to take a Champions Tour event. He charged into second place, finished the day at 11-under 133.
First-round leader Mark Wiebe, coming off a playoff win last week at the Senior British Open, stumbled to 71, falling into a sixth-place tie with Kirk Triplett (64), John Riegger (69) and Bart Bryant (69) at minus-9.
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