BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Kenny Perrys dream all year long was to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team which will play the Europeans next month in Perrys home state of Kentucky.
He never dreamed, however, that he would make that team in a year that saw him play just one round of golf ' total ' in the four major championships.
Perry made it official late Thursday when he withdrew from the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills after shooting an opening round 79 just two days after suffering an eye injury while removing a contact lens.
I love the PGA, Perry said late Thursday. And I hate to not be continuing. But I have to get ready for the Ryder Cup.
Perry explained to PGA of America officials that, because he has had two Lasik surgeries, he wears special Lasik lenses that have a hard center and are flat around the end. He scratched a cornea removing one of the lenses late Tuesday and on Wednesday said the pain was still killing him.
Dr. Robert Erickson of Birmingham, Mich., told Perry he needed to let the damaged eye rest and that meant not wearing contact lenses for approximately a week. Erickson also administered cortisone and steroid medication to Perry.
That was very painful and annoying, Perry said. And it was difficult to be trying to fight a difficult golf course and have my eye aggravating me at the same time.
GolfChannel.com first reported the news Wednesday that Perry was hurting and had received treatment to try and relieve the pain and allow him to play Thursday.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger told GolfChannel.com that he had spoken to Perry before Perrys Thursday round and said he had assured Azinger that he was all right to play.
The question now centers on how healthy Perry will be for the Ryder Cup matches at Valhalla Golf Club where Perry lost in a playoff to Mark Brooks at the 1996 PGA Championship.
One thing working in Perrys favor, medical officials told GOLF CHANNEL, is the cornea is one of the fastest healings parts of the human anatomy.
The 47-year-old Perry already has won three times in 2008 and as late as Tuesday afternoon had expressed confidence about his chances to win at Oakland Hills because, he said, the golf course fits his eye and it favors a player who hits his irons with a high trajectory.
Its kind of a bummer, Perry said of the injury.
Perry did not qualify for the Masters in April. In June, he did not attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open because he didnt think the Torrey Pines South venue suited his game. Similarly, he stayed away from the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, opting instead to play that week in the U.S. Bank in Milwaukee. He had committed to the Milwaukee event earlier in the year.
Perry is currently ranked 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He finished T-66 at last weeks WGC-Bridgestone. In his last start before that, he tied for sixth at the U.S. Bank. Prior to Milwaukee Perry had won three times in his previous five starts.
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