Three-Up Perry Becomes Reluctant Star

Kenny Perry won for the third time in five starts as he emerged from a three-way play-off to lift the John Deere Classic title in Silvis, Illinois.

Perry’s ambition at the start of the year was to quietly make the US Ryder Cup team without any fuss or fanfare. No such luck if he keeps winning the way he has this season.

He beat rookie Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson over one extra hole after a bogey on the 18th prevented him from winning the tournament in regulation.

He replayed the 18th in the play-off, tapping from just over one foot for victory while his two rivals hit their approach shots into the water. Perry won $756,000 for his 12th career victory.

The 47-year-old said “I don’t want Tiger status”, but he might not have a choice given his recent track record.

He is now a lock for the Ryder Cup and lies second to Woods in the FedEx Cup standings. After losing in the play-offs of the AT&T Classic in May, he won The Memorial. After a sixth place in the Travelers Championship, he triumphed at the Buick Open.

His Ryder Cup ambitions are fuelled by the fact that it is being held in Valhalla, near where he lives and on a course he is familiar with. As for his achievements, he has already done more than what he promised his father when he was a budding pro. He said in an AP article:

“I told my dad I was going to make the PGA Tour and win a tournament. My goal was never to be a superstar. I just wanted to make a living and support my kids. I don’t want to live in a fishbowl.”

Perry and Adamonis closed with one-under par 70 while Williamson finished on 69. The trio totalled 16-under 268, one stroke ahead of Charlie Wi (69), Will MacKenzie (70) and Eric Axley (69).

On the European Tour, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell tuned up for the British Open by winning the Scottish Open by two strokes at the Loch Lomond Golf Club.

McDowell closed with 68 for a total of 13-under-par 271 to beat out South Africa’s James Kingston, who shot 66 in his final round for 273.

Australia’s Richard Green and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez were tied for third on 274, both closing with 69. South African Ernie Els, one of the favourites for the Open title at Royal Birkdale, was tied for ninth on 277 along with a former Open winner, Paul Lawrie.

American Phil Mickelson, the world number two, ended the tournament on two-under 282 in a six-way tie for 38th.

It was McDowell’s second victory of the season following his triumph at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea in March, lifting him to sixth place in the European Ryder Cup standings. He said in a European Tour website article that playing the Ryder Cup is a major ambition.

“The Ryder Cup, I put it up there with winning majors. The Ryder Cup is something that I’ve really, really wanted to do. I desperately, desperately wanted to be on The Ryder Cup Team. I refused to be measured up last week at The European Open for my clothing and for my suits – maybe I’ll accept that invitation next time I get it.”

On the LPGA Tour, Paula Creamer won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, making the most of her magnificent 11-under-par 60 in the opening round.

The 21-year-old Creamer came close to a 59 on Thursday but never came close to that form again for the rest of the week. But it was still enough for a 16-under-par 268 and a two-stroke victory over Nicole Castrale. Korean Ji Eun-hee was third on 13-under.

Teenager Feng Shanshan made history for China when she finished in fourth place, four shots off the winner. It was a career best performance for the 18-year-old, who is the first exempt member of the LPGA from China.

One Response to “Three-Up Perry Becomes Reluctant Star”

  1. Bob Crawford says:

    You sure keep on top of the golf picture. Keep up the good work. Bobc

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