Perry, who has won three of his last five events on the PGA TOUR, said his goal is to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
I just dont understand it. I dont know why theyre ripping me, Perry said before the pro-am Wednesday.
The 47-year-old Perry, who won the U.S. Bank Championship in 2003, captured the John Deere Classic last weekend. That vaulted him to fourth place in Ryder Cup points, and a likely spot on the team.
Some golf analysts questioned his decision to play in the lower-tier event while passing up a chance to win his first major during his current winning binge. Perry said hes honoring his promise to play at the U.S. Bank Championship.
I made the commitment early in the year and then all of a sudden now Im supposed to dump you guys and go to the British Open, Perry said. You know whats funny? The tournaments get mad at a lot of pros for backing out of tournaments.
The Ryder Cup is special to Perry, who is from Kentucky, because it will be played in September at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. He said skipping the British Open wasnt an issue last year, when he was struggling.
If I hadnt played this well, if I hadnt won three times, nobody would have cared what I did, he said.
No one is happier with Perrys decision to honor his commitment than tournament director Dan Croak.
Were ecstatic that Kenny is here this week, he said.
Perry will join a field that includes two-time U. S. Open champion Lee Janzen, Jesper Parnevik and past winners Corey Pavin, Shigeki Maruyama and Carlos Franco.
Perry is content to concentrate on the Ryder Cup.
Im gonna stay focused, try to earn as many points as I can earn, he said. Im still not on that Ryder Cup team until I put the red, white and blue on.
Perry may never win a major title, but he earned one distinction this year by becoming the oldest player to win three PGA tournaments in one year.
I just read that in the paper today, Perry said. I got something out here, anyway, that they can remember me by besides skipping the British.