Perry Does It Again

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 1, 2003, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Kenny Perry has gone unnoticed for 17 years on the PGA Tour.
Not anymore.
One week after a record-setting victory at the Colonial, Perry built another big lead Sunday at the Memorial. He ran out of gas at the end and closed with three straight bogeys, but still shot even-par 72 for a two-shot victory over Lee Janzen.
''This is the time of my life,'' Perry said. ''I've never played golf like this.''
It was the first time in his career that the 42-year-old Perry has won twice in the same year -- back-to-back, no less, at two of the most prestigious stops on the PGA Tour.
He lapped the field at Hogan's Alley.
He was just as dominant on the course Jack Nicklaus built.
''I'm sure glad Jack built this golf course because I love it here,'' said Perry, who joined Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin as the only multiple winners at the Memorial.
Woods, a three-time winner at Muirfield Village, had four birdies and an eagle on the back nine and closed with a 7-under 65. He tied for fourth in his final tournament before the U.S. Open.
No one was going to catch Perry.
He pulled away with four birdies on the front nine to build a five-stroke lead, and Janzen never got any closer until Perry got sloppy.
After making only two bogeys over the first 66 holes, Perry finished with five bogeys and a birdie. He was just trying to get to the clubhouse and collect another trophy.
''About 13, it hit me,'' Perry said. ''I just got flat, started stroking it terrible. Thank goodness I had a lead, and Lee wasn't making anything.''
Perry finished at 13-under 275 and earned $900,000 for the second straight week. He moved up to No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list with over $2.5 million, a career-best.
Janzen, winless since his second U.S. Open title at The Olympic Club in 1998, tried to make it interesting. He holed out from a bunker for the third time in two days, but still only managed a 72.
For the second straight week, Perry beat a field that featured the No. 1 player -- Annika Sorenstam at the Colonial, and Woods at the Memorial.
Perry was an afterthought at Colonial, a week that focused on Sorenstam becoming the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.
Even though he set a tournament record at 19 under, Perry figured he would be known as the guy who won ''Annika's event ... but at least I'll be remembered for something.''
Now, he's the rage of the PGA Tour, the sixth player this year to win at least twice.
''He's playing fantastic,'' said Masters champion Mike Weir, who closed with a 65 and finished third at 10-under 278. ''When he gets hot, he can really go after it and go low. He's just in a nice groove right now.''
Janzen knows that as well as anyone. He played in the final group with Perry and watched a clinic. He fell six strokes behind after 10 holes, and knows the final margin was closer than it really was.
''It's easy to look back and say I had my chances because of the way he finished, but if I wouldn't have made a couple of those putts ... he may have stepped up and made the putts he had,'' Janzen said.
Perry seemingly had his work cut out for him. His lead was only two shots -- not quite the eight-stroke advantage he had last week at Colonial -- and strong breezes under cool, sunny skies made Muirfield Village a good test.
Big deal.
As those around him sputtered through the first nine, Perry quickly turned the Memorial into another rout.
He holed a 20-foot birdie from the fringe on No. 2, birdied both the par 5s, then hit an approach on No. 9 that stopped 18 inches short of going in. Perry went out in 32, matching Weir for the best front nine of the final round.
More importantly, it gave him a five-stroke lead over Janzen.
Perry was ahead by seven last week going into the back nine at Colonial, where the only drama was whether Justin Leonard could shoot 59. There was nothing like that at Muirfield Village, not that Woods didn't try.
Starting with the par-3 eighth, Woods quickly shot up the leaderboard in his final tournament before defending at the U.S. Open.
He nearly holed a wedge from the 14th fairway. He made eagle putts on both par 5s, making the one on No. 15 from two feet after his 4-iron came inches from going in. Woods wound up with a 64 and tied for fourth, with Vijay Singh at 9-under 279.
''Unfortunately, I had nine holes that put me out of the tournament,'' Woods said of his 42 on the front nine Saturday.
Still, he said he would go into the U.S. Open in two weeks feeling good about his game, not just because he ended this week with a 65.
''I've been playing well,'' he said. ''You guys may not believe me. Even if I shot 71, as long as I played well, I would be pleased. I hit the ball as flush as I have been hitting it.''
Still, no one is hitting it quite as well as Perry.
''Last week was a joke to shoot that at Colonial,'' Woods said. ''And to do it here, back-to-back weeks, with the wind blowing as hard as it has, he's put up some pretty good numbers.''
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Memorial Tournament
  • Full coverage of the Memorial Tournament
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”