Perry Does It Again

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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Kenny Perry has gone unnoticed for 17 years on the PGA Tour.
 
Not anymore.
 
One week after a record-setting victory at the Colonial, Perry built another big lead Sunday at the Memorial. He ran out of gas at the end and closed with three straight bogeys, but still shot even-par 72 for a two-shot victory over Lee Janzen.
 
''This is the time of my life,'' Perry said. ''I've never played golf like this.''
 
It was the first time in his career that the 42-year-old Perry has won twice in the same year -- back-to-back, no less, at two of the most prestigious stops on the PGA Tour.
 
He lapped the field at Hogan's Alley.
 
He was just as dominant on the course Jack Nicklaus built.
 
''I'm sure glad Jack built this golf course because I love it here,'' said Perry, who joined Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin as the only multiple winners at the Memorial.
 
Woods, a three-time winner at Muirfield Village, had four birdies and an eagle on the back nine and closed with a 7-under 65. He tied for fourth in his final tournament before the U.S. Open.
 
No one was going to catch Perry.
 
He pulled away with four birdies on the front nine to build a five-stroke lead, and Janzen never got any closer until Perry got sloppy.
 
After making only two bogeys over the first 66 holes, Perry finished with five bogeys and a birdie. He was just trying to get to the clubhouse and collect another trophy.
 
''About 13, it hit me,'' Perry said. ''I just got flat, started stroking it terrible. Thank goodness I had a lead, and Lee wasn't making anything.''
 
Perry finished at 13-under 275 and earned $900,000 for the second straight week. He moved up to No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list with over $2.5 million, a career-best.
 
Janzen, winless since his second U.S. Open title at The Olympic Club in 1998, tried to make it interesting. He holed out from a bunker for the third time in two days, but still only managed a 72.
 
For the second straight week, Perry beat a field that featured the No. 1 player -- Annika Sorenstam at the Colonial, and Woods at the Memorial.
 
Perry was an afterthought at Colonial, a week that focused on Sorenstam becoming the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.
 
Even though he set a tournament record at 19 under, Perry figured he would be known as the guy who won ''Annika's event ... but at least I'll be remembered for something.''
 
Now, he's the rage of the PGA Tour, the sixth player this year to win at least twice.
 
''He's playing fantastic,'' said Masters champion Mike Weir, who closed with a 65 and finished third at 10-under 278. ''When he gets hot, he can really go after it and go low. He's just in a nice groove right now.''
 
Janzen knows that as well as anyone. He played in the final group with Perry and watched a clinic. He fell six strokes behind after 10 holes, and knows the final margin was closer than it really was.
 
''It's easy to look back and say I had my chances because of the way he finished, but if I wouldn't have made a couple of those putts ... he may have stepped up and made the putts he had,'' Janzen said.
 
Perry seemingly had his work cut out for him. His lead was only two shots -- not quite the eight-stroke advantage he had last week at Colonial -- and strong breezes under cool, sunny skies made Muirfield Village a good test.
 
Big deal.
 
As those around him sputtered through the first nine, Perry quickly turned the Memorial into another rout.
 
He holed a 20-foot birdie from the fringe on No. 2, birdied both the par 5s, then hit an approach on No. 9 that stopped 18 inches short of going in. Perry went out in 32, matching Weir for the best front nine of the final round.
 
More importantly, it gave him a five-stroke lead over Janzen.
 
Perry was ahead by seven last week going into the back nine at Colonial, where the only drama was whether Justin Leonard could shoot 59. There was nothing like that at Muirfield Village, not that Woods didn't try.
 
Starting with the par-3 eighth, Woods quickly shot up the leaderboard in his final tournament before defending at the U.S. Open.
 
He nearly holed a wedge from the 14th fairway. He made eagle putts on both par 5s, making the one on No. 15 from two feet after his 4-iron came inches from going in. Woods wound up with a 64 and tied for fourth, with Vijay Singh at 9-under 279.
 
''Unfortunately, I had nine holes that put me out of the tournament,'' Woods said of his 42 on the front nine Saturday.
 
Still, he said he would go into the U.S. Open in two weeks feeling good about his game, not just because he ended this week with a 65.
 
''I've been playing well,'' he said. ''You guys may not believe me. Even if I shot 71, as long as I played well, I would be pleased. I hit the ball as flush as I have been hitting it.''
 
Still, no one is hitting it quite as well as Perry.
 
''Last week was a joke to shoot that at Colonial,'' Woods said. ''And to do it here, back-to-back weeks, with the wind blowing as hard as it has, he's put up some pretty good numbers.''
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Memorial Tournament
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