Ryder Cup over Perry sets an even loftier goal

By Associated PressJanuary 8, 2009, 5:00 pm
PGA TourKAPALUA, Hawaii ' For those who thought Kenny Perry set the bar too high last year when he said he wanted to make the Ryder Cup team at age 48, get a load of what he has in mind for an encore.
 
Yall may think Im crazy, he said in his Kentucky drawl, but I want to get to 20 wins.
 
That would seem like a reasonable goal, except that Perrys three PGA Tour victories last year brought his career total to 12. And he turns 50 toward the end of the 2010 season, making him eligible for the Champions Tour. And he has had only three seasons of multiple victories during his 22 years on tour.
 
Somehow Ive got to win eight more times, he said. Is that a realistic goal? I think it is. I still think I can play well into my mid-50s and be successful out here.
 
At least he managed to find some motivation.
 
Perry was belting out bluegrass tunes for a swan song in 2008 because the Ryder Cup was being held in his old Kentucky home. Despite not having won in two years, and coming off surgery on his right knee that still throbs, he picked up victories in the Memorial, Buick Open and John Deere Classic to qualify for the Ryder Cup team for only the second time in his career.
 
This is my last hurrah, he said in the weeks before the Ryder Cup. This is the pinnacle of my career. Ive got way too much at stake for me going out there and playing poorly. That will brand me for the rest of my life.
 
Then he played the best golf of his life, beating Henrik Stenson on the final day for a 2-1-1 record. No moment was as poignant as his 82-year-old father in overalls walking onto the 16th green to embrace Perry.
 
He has won nine times in his 40s. Now hes going to win eight more times to achieve lifetime membership on the PGA Tour?
 
Perry figures he still hits the ball long enough, and his short game is vastly improved. He plans to play as many as 30 times this year, an enormous schedule even for kids half his age. The toughest challenge might be his focus.
 
We all have a lot going on, he said. We have been struggling.
 
Thats when Perry revealed just how large the scope of his most memorable season turned out to be.
 
Three months after his father ambled onto the 16th green at Valhalla, he had two stents put in his heart and has lost 20 pounds as doctors run a battery of tests to figure out whats wrong with him.
 
Perrys mother has blood cancer and is in an assisted-living facility. His wifes mother fell at a fast-food restaurant, breaking her knee cap and two vertebrae. Her mobility is so limited that the Perrys had to remodel her home ' wheelchair ramps, adjustments in the bathroom and the showers ' before she could be released from the hospital.
 
Sandy has been redoing her house while Ive been dealing with my dad, and my sisters have been taking care of my mom, Perry said. We all have a lot going on.
 
If thats not enough, his daughter got married in the fall.
 
If I can get my head back in the game and focus on my golf, Ill be OK, he said. Theres a lot of issues right now.
 
Whether he has surpassed his goals or not achieved enough is subject to debate.
 
Missing from his credentials is a major championship, and Perry has only had two chances. He was two shots out of the lead going into the final round of the 2003 British Open at Royal St. Georges, only to close with a 73 to finish four behind Ben Curtis. The more memorable opportunity came at Valhalla in 1996.
 
Perry was on the verge of winning the PGA Championship until making a bogey on the 18th hole, then losing in a sudden-death playoff to Mark Brooks when Perry took four shots to reach the green.
 
Only one I regret, Perry says.
 
Then again, this was a guy who had to borrow $5,000 from an elder at his church to pay for one last attempt at Q-school when Perry was 26 and had two children in diapers. He got his card and has never finished out of the top 100 on the money list, with a career-high $4.6 million last year pushing his totals to over $26 million.
 
Whats the secret?
 
Genetics, Perry said. I dont work out. I dont really watch what I eat. I just play a lot of golf. I just play every day and usually stay with it and practice and hit a lot of balls. Until something breaks down on me, and I cant do that anymore, I still think I can be very competitive out here.
 
And yes, he plans to be on the PGA Tour longer than some might realize.
 
His three victories last year makes him exempt through 2012, when he is 52. He is No. 9 on the career money list, meaning he could be exempt for two more years after his eligibility ends.
 
Im a very streaky player ' always have been, Perry said. And if I catch fire somewhere in a streak of tournaments Ive had success at, look out. I could put two more three more on the board.
 
That would put him closer to 20 career wins, a goal that might seem absurd to everyone but Perry.
 

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  • Vegas lists Woods at 20-1 to win a major in 2018

    By Will GrayNovember 22, 2017, 12:53 pm

    He hasn't hit a competitive shot in nearly a year, but that hasn't stopped one Las Vegas outlet from listing Tiger Woods among the favorites to win a major in 2018.

    The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook published betting odds this week on dozens of players to win any of the four majors next year. Leading the pack were Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth at 3/2, with Rory McIlroy next. But not far behind was Woods, who has been sidelined since February because of a back injury but was listed at 20/1.

    Woods will make his much-anticipated return next week at the Hero World Challenge, and next month he will turn 42. Next summer will mark the 10-year anniversary of his last major championship victory, a sudden-death playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open.

    Here's a look at the odds for several marquee players on winning any of the four biggest events in golf next year:

    3/2: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth

    5/2: Rory McIlroy

    7/2: Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day

    9/2: Justin Rose

    5/1: Brooks Koepka

    15/2: Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

    10/1: Adam Scott

    12/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Thomas Pieters, Patrick Reed

    15/1: Daniel Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Patrick Cantlay, Branden Grace, Kevin Kisner, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson

    20/1: Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Tony Finau, Martin Kaymer

    25/1: Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Chappell, Bryson DeChambeau, Bill Haas, Jason Dufner, Charley Hoffman

    30/1: Pat Perez, Gary Woodland, Bernd Wiesberger, Brian Harman, Padraig Harrington, Emiliano Grillo, Ross Fisher, Si Woo Kim, J.B. Holmes

    Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

    The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

    The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

    In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

    Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

    Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

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    By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

    Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

    Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

    Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

    Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


    FALLING

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    Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

    Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

    DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

    Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

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    Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

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    Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.