Perry all alone at Colonial

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2005

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kenny Perry understands he will always have to share his first Colonial victory with Annika Sorenstam. And that's OK with him.

But this Colonial was all Perry.

Perry ended another record-breaking run at Hogan's Alley with a 1-under 69 Sunday for a seven-stroke victory over Billy Mayfair (69).

After a double bogey at the 17th hole, Perry had to settle for matching his tournament scoring record of 19-under 261. It was the best 72-hole total on the PGA Tour this year, and the largest margin of victory. Phil Mickelson twice won by five strokes this season.

Perry's victory at Colonial in 2003 was overshadowed by Sorenstam, who became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour. After the LGPA standout missed the cut, Perry tied the course record with a third-round 61 and won at 19 under, six strokes ahead of Justin Leonard.

Perry began Sunday with a seven-stroke cushion, a lead that no PGA Tour player has ever squandered in a final round, and made sure there wouldn't be any challengers.

Even after missing the fairway on the 563-yard opening hole, Perry made a 3-foot birdie. He got to 20 under with an 11-footer at No. 5, a 472-yard hole that ranks as the toughest on the course.

On a second straight day of record heat in the upper 90s, there was quite a shootout behind Perry, who had just two bogeys in the tournament.

David Toms (66), Joe Durant (66) and Peter Lonard (69) finished tied for third, a stroke behind Mayfair, at 11-under 269. Seven golfers, including Bernhard Langer (67), were tied for sixth at 10 under.

Since his victory 2003, Perry has gotten a thrill out of seeing his name engraved on the wall by the first tee with other Colonial champions, including Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead. Only five-time champion Hogan has won more than twice.

Now, Perry will become just the 10th golfer with his name on that wall twice.

The 44-year-old Kentucky native, who won at Bay Hill in March, is the fourth multiple winner on tour this season. Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have won three times.

It was the ninth career win for Perry, who won just three titles in his first 16 seasons before the 2003 Colonial. Along with another plaid jacket, he won $1 million, pushing his career earnings to more than $18 million — $2.6 million of that in 16 Colonials.

With the rhythm of his golf swing feeling just as it did two years ago, Perry had an opening 65 — at that point his best round this year. He followed with a 63 to break the tournament's 36-hole scoring record at 12 under, and then had a 64 on Saturday for the 54-hole scoring record at 18 under.

Perry came only inches from going at least three strokes lower Sunday.

His short pitch shot at the 394-yard 6th hole rolled over the hole and stopped 5 feet past. He missed that birdie chance. At the par-3 13th, a 39-foot birdie putt burned the edge of the cup.

Perry plans to visit an eye doctor next week because of problems that make it difficult for him to read greens or see clearly from long distances and shady spots. He has twice had laser surgery on his eyes, and might try wearing glasses the next time he plays.

He didn't have any real problems at Colonial, playing 53 straight bogey-free holes between his 17th hole Thursday — the 193-yard No. 8 — and his 17th Sunday, when he missed the green at the 394-yard hole and three-putted from 40 feet.

Sybase Classic

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — Paula Creamer made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Sybase Classic by one stroke and become the second-youngest first-time winner ever on the LPGA Tour.

The 18-year-old Creamer won't be able to win two weeks in a row, though, as she has to return home for her high school graduation on Thursday.

The former amateur star closed with a 1-under 71 on the Wykagyl Country Club course, including three birdies in her last five holes. She had tap-in birdies on the par-4 14th and par-5 15th, and the clincher came on the par-5 18th after she was just short of the green in two. She finished with a 6-under 278.

Marlene Hagge won the Sarasota Open in 1952, just 14 days after her 18th birthday.

Jeong Jang (67) and 2002 Sybase champion Gloria Park (71) tied for second at 279, one shot in front of Christina Kim (73).

Bruno's Memorial Classic

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — D.A. Weibring shot a 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Jenkins and Tom Kite at the Bruno's Memorial Classic, surviving a scare on the 18th hole when his ball appeared to move before his final putt.

Weibring's celebration was put on hold until Champions Tour officials ruled that his putter didn't touch the ground before the ball moved. That violation would have cost him a two-stroke penalty and forced a three-way playoff.

Weibring finished at 15-under 201 for his third Champions Tour victory and first of the year. Jenkins shot a final-round 66, tying Kite at 203.

Kite, who tied the tournament record with a 63 on Saturday, finished with a 70.

Irish Open

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (AP) — Stephen Dodd birdied the first extra hole to win the Irish Open, handing David Howell his second straight defeat in a playoff.

Dodd, who shot a 68 to force sudden death at 9-under 279, reached the par-5 18th in two and then two-putted from 30 feet for the birdie.

Howell hit his second shot into the rough and failed to get up and down.

Howell, who shot a 70 Sunday, also lost in a playoff last Sunday in the British Masters.

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