And for the second straight day the rains came and left 43 players to finish up their rounds on Saturday morning.
Choi, looking for his second win of the year, had three bogeys in his first seven holes, two more than he had all of Thursday.
But a birdie on the 10th set the tone for the inward nine, as he added three more coming in for a 3-under 68 that got him to minus-11 for the tournament.
Pampling also carded a 3-under-par 68 to keep Choi's advantage to just two as they head into the weekend. His highest finish on the PGA Tour is a seventh place at thre Honda Classic.
Perez, a strong candidate for rookie of the year and currently 35th on the money list, was 4-under for the day and 8-under for the tournament before rain halted play as he was on the 17th hole.
Glen Day birdied the 18th to hold third place in the clubhouse at minus-7.
Donnie Hammond used a 5-under 66 to move from 25th up to fourth.
Tour veterans Mark Brooks and Lee Janzen are in a small group at 4-under.
Ty Tryon, who shot a 2-over 73 on Thursday, had a solid round going until the rains came. The young rookie who's battled illness most of the season was bogey-free to go along with five birdies and sat in a tie for 11th at 3-under.
Play is set to resume at 8:00 AM ET Saturday with the projected cut set at 1-over par.
Full-field scores from Tampa Bay Classic