Perry Prevails Again at the Memorial

By Associated PressJune 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Kenny Perrys sole purpose on the PGA TOUR this year is to go home to Kentucky for the Ryder Cup.
 
He took a big step Sunday by winning on a course that feels like home.
 
Magic always happens for me here, Perry said after closing with a 3-under 69 to pull away from the pack for a two-shot victory at the Memorial, joining Tiger Woods as the only three-time winners at the tournament Jack Nicklaus built.
 
This was more about good golf than any wizardry.
 
As his contenders were in full retreat on the back nine of Muirfield Village, Perry surged ahead with two clutch par saves, a 5-wood that set up an easy birdie and hardly any mistakes to win for the first time in three years.
 
It could not have come at a better time.
 
Perry squandered two good chances to win in the previous three weeks, closing with an 81 at THE PLAYERS Championship and watching in utter shock as a fairway metal ricocheted off a tree and into the water to lose a playoff outside Atlanta.
 
And when he arrived at the Memorial, he heard Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger say that it would take nothing short of winning for a player to make the U.S. team at Valhalla. The message came through as clear as the blue skies over Muirfield Village.
 
My time is running out, Perry said Sunday. Its getting close to September. I said, You need to make it happen, and you need to make it happen fast. And to be able to get the win here is huge.
 
The 47-year-old Perry became the oldest winner of the Memorial, meaningful for many reasons. As he walked off the 18th green with one final par, he received a warm handshake from Nicklaus and hugs from his wife and three children. It was the first time in his two decades on tour that his entire family was at a tournament he won.
 
Perry finished at 8-under 280, the highest score to win the Memorial in 23 years. He earned $1.08 million, which translates to 1,080 points toward the Ryder Cup. TOUR officials brought him a chart showing Perry at No. 5 in the standings.
 
Oh, sweet, Perry said.
 
Youre going to get there, Nicklaus reassured him.
 
Perry is so desperate to make the team that he wont even bother qualifying for the U.S. Open. He does not like Torrey Pines, and figures he should devote his energy to tournaments where he has a better chance of earning points, such as Memphis next week and Hartford the week after the U.S. Open.
 
It felt like he won a U.S. Open at Muirfield'not so much because of its slick greens and 6-inch rough, but the way par became such a prized possession for so many players.
 
Third-round leader Mathew Goggin stumbled to a 74, and tied for second with former Masters champion Mike Weir, Justin Rose and Jerry Kelly, all of whom closed with a 71. All of them had their chances until dropping shots somewhere along the back nine.
 
>TGCPAGE NAME=Continued...>Perry took the lead with a birdie on the ninth hole and never gave it up, saving par from the back bunker on the par-3 12th and with a perfect flop shot from the rough above the 14th green.
 
Goggins three-shot margin was gone in three holes, and his lead vanished in four, courtesy of two bogeys as everyone else was moving forward. The only consolation was a birdie at No. 18 and a tie for second, matching his best PGA Tour result.
 
It took me three, four holes to calm down, Goggin said. And that was the difference.
 
Four players had a share of the lead on the front nine, all of them poised to take charge.
 
Rose was the first to 8 under when he holed a bunker shot for eagle on No. 7, but he retreated with a bogey from the bunker on the next hole and fell apart early on the back nine, not all by his own doing. Still in range of the lead, Rose watched an approach just left of the flag on No. 13 hit a sprinkler in the fringe and carom into the gallery, leading to bogey.
 
Weir, trying to become Canadas biggest PGA Tour winner with his ninth victory, chipped in for birdie from short of the ninth green to make the turn at 8 under and tied for the lead, but he also gave away shots early on the back nine. Weir came up short on the 10th and missed a 10-foot par putt, then went over the 11th green with a wedge into rough so deep he could barely see his ball.
 
Weir had the last chance, two shots behind until missing a 7-foot birdie on the 17th.
 
When you win a tournament, you guess right a few times, Weir said. Today, three times in a row I guessed wrong.
 
Kelly never had a share of the lead, but he felt as miserable as the rest of them. Perry made his lone bogey on the 17th to fall to 8 under, and Kelly was 3 feet away for birdie to pull within one shot. His putt caught the lip and spun 5 feet away.
 
Perry finished with a par, saluted the gallery and walked over to meet the tournament host.
 
I hadnt seen you all week, he told Nicklaus walking off the 18th green. Its nice to see you here.
 
Nicklaus, who played 43 consecutive U.S. Opens and won four of them, didnt flinch earlier Sunday when told that Perry was skipping the national championship.
 
My goal was never to make the Ryder Cup. It was to win the U.S. Open, Nicklaus said. But I understand. Being in Kentucky, its a big thing for Kenny. Hes looking at the big picture for him to do what he wants to do.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.