Perry Coasts to No 2

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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Kenny Perry releases tension by stomping on the accelerator in his dragster and hitting a top speed of 165 mph while doing the quarter-mile in 8 seconds.
 
It's the way he gets away from the stress of his day job as a professional golfer.
 
On Sunday, he almost went to the emergency chute a little too soon.
 
Perry won for the second time in two weeks, building a six-shot lead with six holes to play and then leaking oil down the stretch to beat Lee Janzen by two strokes at the Memorial Tournament.
 
'My arms felt real heavy,' Perry said after bogeying five of the last six holes in an even-par 72. 'I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.'
 
The final six holes didn't really matter, however, because of the way the 42-year-old Perry played the previous 66. He piled up 14 birdies during a 50-hole span without a bogey until calamitous weather hit in the third round.
 
He stared down the field in the first 12 holes of the final round, posting four birdies with pars on the other eight holes to all but end any speculation that anyone else might win.
 
'He wasn't quite on top of his game coming in,' Janzen said. 'But he had a big enough lead it didn't matter.'
 
When Perry was asked if he was worried about falling apart at the finish, tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus jumped to his defense.
 
'You did what you had to do coming home to protect the lead,' Nicklaus said. 'You knew you cous two-week winning streak
 
Perry has been content to stay in the shadows for most of his 17-year PGA Tour career. That may be increasingly difficult to do after his back-to-back wins. The six-time tour winner climbed to fifth on the tour money list and could move into the top 10 in the world rankings.
 
A country boy from Kentucky, he said he doesn't believe the past two weeks will change him.
 
'I think it was just my time,' he said. 'I always knew I could win out here. I always felt like my game was good enough. I wasn't pushing the right buttons at the right time.'
 
Deeply religious and a devoted family man, he said he has become calmer than when he was a young player.
 
'I just feel relaxed for some reason,' he said. 'I feel like when I get into the heat of the shot I'm able to slow down -- my heart rate slows down. I slow down everything. I slowed my swing down and started hitting terrific golf shots.'
 
Woods paid the ultimate compliment to a blue-collar player who had never before won twice in one year, let alone twice in two weeks.
 
'That was a joke to shoot that at Colonial,' Woods said. 'To do it here back-to-back weeks with the wind blowing as hard as it has, he has put up some pretty good numbers.'
 
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