Perry Tied For Lead at ATT Classic


DULUTH, Georgia -- Kenny Perry sloshed through the water-logged fairways, ducking under an umbrella every chance he got.
He also hit plenty of good shots on a miserable day at the TPC Sugarloaf.
Perry endured a steady'and occasionally driving rain'to claim a share of the first-round lead with a 6-under 66 at the AT&T Classic on Thursday.
The other leaders'Jonathan Kaye, Ryan Palmer, Jonathan Byrd and Parker McLachlin'all teed off in the morning, before a huge weather system engulfed the suburban Atlanta course.
They were the lucky ones.
Byrd was likely watching from his nice, dry hotel room by the time Perry rolled in a 14-footer to save par at the treacherous ninth, his final hole.
I dont like playing in the rain. I cant think of anybody who does, Byrd said. Its just not a whole lot of fun. Its a lot of work.
Perrys bogey-free was especially impressive in light of the soggy conditions and other hardships.
He had to remain on the course during a 31-minute delay when the rain turned so heavy that play had to be halted. Then, when he got to his last hole, surely looking forward to calling it a day, he found a backlog of five groups waiting to tee off'all of them held up by an earlier ruling on Glen Day that took nearly a half-hour to sort out.
Theres five groups here? Rich Beem asked incredulously when his threesome arrived.
Yep, youre the fifth, replied Greg Norman, making a rare appearance on the PGA Tour at the course he drew up.
I guess its your fault, Beem quipped. Youre the one who designed the place.
Perry drove his tee shot at 472-yard ninth into a huge puddle, forcing him to drop on drier ground. After hitting his second shot short and left of the green, he had to wait even longer while Dean Wilson got a ruling on a tee shot that faded into a deep ravine along the right side of the fairway.
Wilson wasnt out of trouble yet, hitting his next shot off a tree limb' the ball shooting straight across the fairway. At that point, Perry had already walked ahead to get a look at his ball.
He flubbed a chip off the mushy ground, slamming his club in disgust, but rolled in the putt to close his round with a better feeling. Then it was off to the clubhouse to get dry.
I hit some good shots and made some nice saves coming in, Perry said. The last few holes were brutal.
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