Kenny Perry Proof That Nice Guys Win


PGA Tour (75x100)The tournament is called the Buick Championship, which is not to confuse it with the Buick Open, the Buick Invitational, or even its old name ' the Greater Hartford Open.
And his name is Kenny Perry, which is not to confuse him with Chris Perry, or Craig Parry. He has won five times in the last three years, including two this year. Included in that list of five is the Heros Sweep ' Arnold Palmers Bay Hill, Jack Nicklaus Memorial, and Ben Hogans Colonial (twice). If he can just prevail at Byron Nelsons EDS Byron Nelson Championship, he will have all the great ones covered.
I keep telling people, it's not about the money, Perry said upon winning Palmers Bay Hill this spring. To me, it's about a little piece of history.
And I had a big thing on my mind this week, winning at Muirfield, winning at Colonial. I really wanted to win here because I really wanted to make my trifecta there with those three great men. Not because I won this week, but I've had this goal for 10 years ever since I won those tournaments and at Colonial a couple years ago, and now to finally do it, I'm excited.
Perry is 45 now and he has won five of his eight tournaments while in his 40s. Seems like the older he gets, the more relaxed he becomes ' if thats possible for a man from Elizabethtown, Ky.
I just don't have any pressure (now), he says. I have kids, two in college, and one, she's a junior in high school. They are great, they are going great, their lives are good. We're just happy. I don't have to stress on my kids really tugging at me anymore. They are doing great and they are all rooting for me.
I mean, I'm having fun out there now, where I used to - I stressed out, I had mortgages and bills, and you know it was just stressful. And kids were young, they were telling me to come home: We want you home; we don't want you gone.'
And the older he gets, seemingly the better he gets.
Yeah, personally, I mean - you could always look in the records that most guys, they kind of fade away in their 40s, he said. You still have a few, you have your Jay Haas', Loren Roberts is doing good, Jeff Sluman. You have guys that are still performing very well, but not many.
You kind of lose your desire, I guess. Nine years of grinding out here trying to make cuts will wear on you. I don't know, I'm still strong, I'm still healthy, I still hit it a long ways, and I'm able to keep up with most people. So, you know what, I've been fortunate. I'm very blessed.
Perry was incensed last week, though. Playing alongside Tiger Woods, he took a two-stroke lead deep into the final day at the WCG-NEC Invitational. But alas ' he wound up with an unfortunate back nine and ended the round with a 74 to drop back into a tie for sixth. Afterwards, he blew past reporters who wanted a comment ' a rarity for one of the nicest guys in sports.
And he admits he is always a competitor, albeit usually a mild one.
I just like competing against the best, Perry said earlier this year.
My dad instilled a lot of competitiveness in me, he was such a competitor. I just like winning. I don't know if it's playing cards, playing dice, whatever. To me it doesn't matter what we do; I beat my kids bad and laugh at 'em.
You know, they hate me. That's just the way I am. I don't know for whatever reason, just like winning, like competing and I like being the best, you know, and it shows out there.'
He was kidding about the children hating him, of course. But someday they will have to learn the lessons that he did ' even though they are loving lessons.

My dad, he would just kill ME, and I would get mad, throw the cards, the games, whatever - I would throw them across the room, Perry explained. He beat me in golf so bad and then he would laugh. He would get me to where I would be crying, I would be so mad at him.
I think he had a reason behind all that, I don't know, maybe that made me mentally tough. Even though I'm a pretty quiet laid-back kind of guy, I'm really hungry inside. I really want to win.
And theres a lesson in there for his youngsters ' in fact for all the youngsters who think they might be able to succeed.
Don't lose sight of your dreams, he said. Because you know what - I'm a guy who nobody thought would ever do anything in playing golf; that I should go to college and get a job.
I said I'm going to make it on the PGA Tour, and I believed in my heart I was going to make it, I really did. When I do clinics or whatever and talk to the kids, I just tell them, don't lose sight of your dreams. If you want it bad enough and you work at it hard enough, good things are going to happen.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Championship