Perry wins US Se­nior Open by 2 strokes over Triplett

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

PE­ABODY: Kenny Perry with­drew from the US Se­nior Open last year af­ter two rounds with a swollen knee and doubts about whether he would ever play again.

A year later, he walked away with a gold medal around his neck and a sil­ver tro­phy.

“I thought I was done. I thought, ‘Re­tire­ment felt pretty good,’” Perry said Sun­day af­ter shoot­ing a 2-un­der 68 at the Salem Coun­try Club for a record 264 to­tal and a two-stroke vic­tory over Kirk Triplett.

“I didn’t think I would ever be hold­ing a tro­phy again,” said Perry, who claimed his fourth ma­jor on the se­nior tour and his sec­ond US Se­nior Open. “That’s how golf is: When you win you never think you’re go­ing to lose. And when you lose, you never think you’re go­ing to win again.” Start­ing the day a stroke be­hind Triplett but five ahead of the next-clos­est com­peti­tor, Perry pulled away from his fal­ter­ing play­ing part­ner on the front nine and closed with 12 straight pars to fin­ish at 16 un­der.

Triplett, who tied the tour­na­ment record with a 62 in the open­ing round, had four bo­geys on the front nine and an­other on the back. He shot 71, sav­ing par on No. 18 af­ter hit­ting his tee shot into a flower pot along the fair­way.

“It was def­i­nitely match play,” Perry said. “Once I got three up on him, I knew if I kept pound­ing fair­ways and greens, he was go­ing to have to catch up with me. My play was flaw­less. I played just the way I pic­tured it in my mind.”

Brandt Jobe, who shot 62 on Satur­day to pull into third, had a 70 to fin­ish seven strokes back. Tom Lehman and Fred Cou­ples each shot 69 to tie for fourth at 8 un­der. Perry’s 264 was three strokes bet­ter than the U.S. Se­nior Open record set by Hale Ir­win at Sau­con Val­ley in 2000 and matched by Perry in Omaha in 2013. Perry was the only player to shoot un­der par in each of the four rounds at the 6,815-yard Don­ald Ross­de­signed course.

“That’s Kenny Perry. That’s the kind of player he’s al­ways been,” Lehman said. “When he gets go­ing, he re­ally gets go­ing. He makes a lot of putts. He hits it so long that he short­ens up ev­ery golf course that he plays. There­fore, if his put­ter is work­ing, he’s go­ing to make a lot of birdies.” Salem also hosted the tour­na­ment in 2001, when Bruce Fleis­cher won at even par. But overnight rain be­fore the first three rounds soft­ened the greens, and Triplett and Jobe each took ad­van­tage with rounds of 62 - match­ing the low­est score ever in a PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons ma­jor. “To­day was prob­a­bly how they wanted the golf course to play all week,” said Jobe, who played his other three rounds at a com­bined 1 un­der. “It was hard out there.”—AP

PE­ABODY: Kenny Perry tries to coax the ball af­ter tee­ing off on the third hole dur­ing the fourth round of the US Se­nior Open golf tour­na­ment, Sun­day, in Pe­abody, Mass. — AP

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