Golf: Surging Perry wins again
By Andrew Seligman
SILVIS, Ill. ó He never wanted to be the star, the main attraction, but Kenny Perry will have no choice if this continues. The guy who merely wanted to win enough to make the Ryder Cup team is now racking up victories at a rapid pace.
“I don’t want to live in a fishbowl,” he said. “I don’t want Tiger status.”
He’s got a ways to go to get there, but he is attracting more attention than ever before.
Perry beat Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson in a one-hole playoff to win the John Deere Classic and escape with his third victory in five starts after bogeying the 18th hole Sunday.
Perry had a one-stroke lead at 17-under through 17 only to lose it thanks to some poor shots from the fringe on the final hole of regulation. He and Williamson were off the course when Adamonis, the PGA Tour’s oldest rookie at 35, missed an 18-foot putt for birdie that would have won it in regulation and given him his first victory.
The ball stopped 3 feet short and Adamonis was at 16-under 268 with the others. Perry, who was signing autographs, said he didn’t see the shot. He just heard the roar and knew he had to get back on the course.
While Adamonis and Williamson both hit approach shots into the pond on No. 18, Perry tapped in from 1 feet, 4 inches for par and the victory after his 24-footer stopped just short.
He picked the ball out of the cup and raised both arms, an ear-to-ear grin crossing his face.
He has reason to smile.
He collected $756,000 with his 12th victory and is enjoying the best stretch of his career at an age ó 47 ó when players are getting ready for the senior tour. A guy with apparently no aspirations to be the next Arnie or Jack suddenly is one of the hottest players on the tour.
“I told my dad I was going to make the PGA Tour and win a tournament,” he said. “My goal was never to be a superstar. I just wanted to make a living and support my kids.”
Perry (1-under 70), Adamonis (70) and Williamson (69) were one stroke ahead of Charlie Wi (69), Will MacKenzie (70) and Eric Axley (69) after 72 holes.
Williamson earned an invitation to the British Open and, unlike Perry, accepted it.
“To play the British Open, I don’t think that has quite sunk in yet,” Williamson said. “I am blinded by the playoff. To go play the British Open, I mean, I never thought that would happen to me.”
Now second behind Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup standings, Perry might have been a threat there had he not decided to honor a commitment to play in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee instead. He’s focusing on the Ryder Cup and on playing courses he thinks suit his game.
The head honchos of this newspaper have been mighty good to me over the past 13 years. I’ve flown all... read more