Perry completed three rounds at 18-under-par 192. That score was one stroke better than his total of 193, which he posted en route to winning the Colonial in 2003.
Perry's play was not the only thing that was sizzling on Saturday. Temperatures at Colonial Country Club peeked at a record high of 97 degrees during the round.
'Every time I hit it, I found some shade to walk under the whole way to my ball,' Perry said. 'We had to wait a lot, which I kind of enjoyed because it got me under a tree somewhere where I could kind of cool down. It's definitely hot. They say it's even going to be hotter tomorrow.'
Perry opened with a 15-foot birdie putt on the third that moved him to 13 under. He then converted consecutive birdies from the sixth.
The 44-year-old cruised around the turn with three straight pars. Perry moved to 16 under with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 11th. The eight-time winner on the PGA Tour picked up his fifth birdie on the 13th.
Perry carded the final birdie of his round on the par-4 15th from 3 feet out. He parred his final three holes to set the new 54-hole scoring record. Perry's last bogey came on his 17th hole, No. 8, during the first round.
'It will be the same thing,' said Perry referring to his eight-shot lead here in 2003. 'I'm just going to go out there and hit fairways and greens. I'm not going to get ahead of myself. I'm going to play each hole as they come. If I shoot a good round of golf, they have to shoot very low to catch me. '
Perry has been battling eye problems the last few months, but you would be hard pressed to see that this week. He has had lasik surgery twice on his eyes, but they are still far from perfect. Perry has been relying on his memory -- this is his 16th time playing this event -- and on his caddy with help reading the greens.
'I had a physical this week on Monday,' said Perry after his opening round. 'They told me that I couldn't pass the Texas driver's license test. I told my caddie I cannot see the green, I cannot see the slope. He has been helping me. I can't see the ball land on the green right now. I'm struggling with my vision a little bit.'
Mayfair got off to a hot start with an eagle on the first. He came back with birdies at three and eight to make the turn at 11 under. He wrapped birdies at 11 and 15 around a bogey on 13.
However, Mayfair was lucky to walk away from the par-3 16th with a bogey. His tee shot bounced hard off the bleachers and well over the green. He pitched on to the front of the green and two-putted for bogey before parring his final two holes.
Stricker traded a birdie for a bogey from the second. He converted another birdie on four to move to minus-8. The three-time winner on the PGA Tour tripped to a bogey on the sixth. He notched four birdies on his way in to share second place.
Geoff Ogilvy fired a 6-under 64 to move into a tie for seventh place at 8-under-par 202. He was joined there by Aaron Baddeley, Fredrik Jacobson, D.J. Trahan and Byron Nelson Championship winner Ted Purdy.