The mourning after

By Jason SobelOctober 3, 2011, 8:13 pm

Kenny Perry will not be granting any interviews in the aftermath of his first Champions Tour title. He won’t be happily summarizing the breakthrough performance, won’t be excitedly describing the thrill of victory.

Nor will he be working on his game, fine-tuning an already-proficient swing that helped him to the winner’s circle on Sunday afternoon.

He will be laying his sister to rest instead.

Kay Perry passed away after a lengthy battle with breast cancer on Saturday night, exactly two years to the day after their mother Mildred died from cancer, too.

An emotional man who was immediately stricken with grief, news of Kay’s death left Kenny with the ultimate quandary: Continue competing in the SAS Championship, where he was tied for the lead entering the final round, or withdraw from the tournament and return to Kentucky to start the grieving process with his family?

“I had all night to kind of ponder on what I should do,” Perry later confided. 'I didn't sleep a lot, thought about just getting on a plane and heading home.”

Nobody would have blamed him for choosing that route. Except for his father, Ken, who convinced Kenny to continue playing in the memory of Kay.

“Dad talked me out of coming home. I wanted to come home and he talked me out of it,” he explained. “He called me, he said, 'Son, you just need to go out there and represent Kay today.'

“He's a tough man. He's really a neat father.”

And so the mourning golfer with the tough father soldiered on. He played the final round, just hours after receiving the news. Played while thinking about his sister, who passed away around 9 p.m. the night before at age 59. Played while thinking about his mother and the uncanny coincidence that they would both succumb to the same disease on the first day of October.

He thought about them after the birdie on the third hole and again after another on the sixth that moved him into the lead. Thought about them when he carded a double-bogey on the par-5 12th and when he erased it with an eagle five holes later.

“The eagle fell in the bottom of the cup on 17 and I felt like I know they were watching,” he said. “I felt I had some help there.”

And he was certainly thinking about them when a final-hole bogey clinched his initial victory on the senior circuit.

Perry was outwardly emotional afterward, his eyes welling up with tears during post-round interviews. It eerily brought to mind memories of Dana Quigley winning the Northville Long Island Classic in 1997, only to find out on his way to the scoring trailer that his father had passed away that afternoon.

It’s a wonder these guys could even bring the club back, let alone prevail over a field of competitors with such weighty personal issues rattling around in their minds.

“I really wasn't thinking a lot about winning,” Perry later said. “I just wanted to make her proud.”

Others were thinking about it, though. The newest champion was regaled with a reserved, truncated ceremony on the final green and an uncommonly brief interview session with the media.

It was there that he was able to reflect on what had just occurred – and how the grave circumstances may have actually helped his cause.

“I was very calm all day, I had no nerves,” he explained. “Normally I'm a little jumpy, a little jittery, tense. Today I was just – I felt like I was on a low, I was really down. I was kind of depressed and my swing was in rhythm, it wasn't fast and I had great control of the golf ball.

“So yeah, I could definitely say it contributed to my success today.”

Perry will now skip at least the next two tournaments on the Champions Tour schedule. Following the funeral services, he will help his father get Kay’s estate in order and simply spend time with family away from the game.

When he returns, he will be greeted by an awkward yet earnest chorus of both condolences and congratulations from his peers, each coming hand-in-hand with the other.

“With what happened last night with his sister, it's the right thing,” said Jeff Sluman, who finished one stroke behind Perry. “I won't probably see him, but congratulations to Kenny. Couldn't be happier for him and his family.”

If it’s a delicate state of concern for his fellow players, it’s multiplied tenfold for Perry himself, who never imagined his first win on the tour would come accompanied by such somber undertones.

In the aftermath of the victory, it took only one sentence for him to perfectly sum up the emotions of the weekend.

“I’m excited to win,” Perry said, his eyes red and watery, “but I'd rather have my sister back.”

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen: