By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff
Kenny Perry was rock solid down the stretch, making birdie on two of his final three holes to pull away from Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf and win the 2013 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Perry’s victory avenged his final-round collapse at the Senior PGA Championship just over a month earlier. He started the day two strokes back but, after making birdies at Nos. 2, 4, 7, he took the lead for good at No. 15 when Couples three-putted from eight feet for bogey and Waldorf made bogey after a wayward second shot and a poor chip. Perry then added a tap-in birdie at No. 16 and made a five-foot birdie at the par-3 17th to distance himself from both Couples and Waldorf. Overall, Perry played his final 37 holes of the championship without a bogey and in a cumulative 14-under.
With His Victory – Kenny Perry/71-63-63-64—261 (-19)
• He claims his first major title on the Champions Tour in his 10th appearance in a senior major and becomes the 28th different winner of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
• He wins the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in his third appearance (T13/2011, 8th/2012).
• He wins his third career title on the Champions Tour in his 40th start on the circuit.
• He ends a victory drought of one year, four months, 11 days (2012 ACE Group Classic) or 24 Champions Tour events (2nd-2012 Encompass Championship, T2-2013 Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, T2-2013 Senior PGA Championship; T3-2012 3M Championship, T3-2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, T3-2013 Encompass Championship).
• On the PGA TOUR, Perry’s best finishes in major championships were 2nd at the 1996 PGA Championship, T2 at the 2009 Masters.
• He becomes the 10th different winner in the 12 official stroke-play events on the 2013 Champions Tour and joins Kohki Idoki (Senior PGA Championship) and David Frost (Regions Tradition) as the third different major winner on the circuit this year.
• He earns 810 Charles Schwab Cup points and vaults from ninth place into the lead in the Schwab Cup standings at the halfway point in the season (1,508). David Frost , the leader coming into this week, is now second in the Schwab Cup standings with 1,417 points and Fred Couples is now third with 1,301 points.
• He earns a check for $405,000 and increases his total earnings on the 2013 Champions Tour money list to ($999,550).
• He extends his exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii through the 2018 event.
• He earns an exemption into next year’s PLAYERS on the PGA TOUR at TPC Sawgrass. Previous-best finish in 23 career appearances at THE PLAYERS was T3 in 2004 (4 strokes back of Adam Scott).
• Perry’s 72-hole stats: 46/56 fairways (T20), 61/72 greens (8th), 25.75 putts per round (T4), 2 eagles, 21 birdies, 43 pars, 6 bogeys.
• Perry’s 19-under 261 total for 72 holes is the lowest score in a major on the Champions Tour since Fred Funk shot 20-under 268 at the 2009 U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club near Indianapolis. He tied Jack Nicklaus numerical mark of 261 (27-under), set in 1990 at Dearborn Country Club.
• Perry became the first player to win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS with an opening-round above par (+1/71). His final 54-hole total of 20-under 190 (63-63-64) set the all-time record for lowest consecutive three-round score, besting Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 19-under 197 (65-68-64) set in 1990 at par-72 Dearborn Country Club. His final-round 64 also matched the lowest Sunday score by a winner – 64, Jack Nicklaus, 1990, Dearborn Country Club; 64, Jay Haas, 2009, Baltimore Country Club.
• With Fred Couples’ runner-up finish this week, it marked the first time since 2008 that a player finished second in three straight starts. Couples was second at both the Regions Tradition and Encompass Championship. Brad Bryant was T2 at the Allianz Championship, lost in a playoff at the ACE Group Classic and then lost in another playoff at the AT&T Champions Classic.
• World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie was T9 in the Champions Tour debut, carding a final-round 65 at Fox Chapel.
“Yeah, it's been exciting. I've really enjoyed it. I've been very welcomed, which has been lovely to sense the warmth, you know. It's nice to be welcomed. I have enjoyed playing with Rocco the last two days, Bernhard, my good friend, the first two days, and Frost and Hale Sutton today. Everyone has a story, you know. It's amazing. I've enjoyed it and played reasonably well. I hit the ball well through the green. I didn't putt as well as I should have done or could have done, but everyone has their ins and outs. So I believe if that's a Top 10, I'm delighted with a Top 10 to start. It's my first outing here and to see how I feel and how the standard is, and I've obviously a lot of work to do because the standard's very, very high. I knew that before I came out, it's just a matter of witnessing it firsthand. I know there's some great golfers here and I've got to cut out the mistakes to compete on that level.”
• Duffy Waldorf’s 6-under 29 on the front side at Fox Chapel today was the best nine-hole score of the tournament and also matched Bernhard Langer’s 7-under 29 (back nine, Rd. 1, ACE Group Classic) as the lowest 9-hole score on the Champions Tour this year. Waldorf is the only player to finish among the top 10 in the first three majors in 2013 – T6 Senior PGA Championship, T5 Regions Tradition, T2 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS.
• Sixty-one year-old Morris Hatalsky recorded a second consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship. After finishing T8 at the Regions Tradition, Hatalsky carded a final-round 67 to finish T6 at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. It marked his best performance in a senior major since he was fourth at the 2005 Senior PGA Championship and was the first time since 2002 that he had a pair of top 10s in majors in the same season. Hatalsky’s previous-best finish at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS was T11 in both 2005 and 2006.
• Jeff Hart matched his best career finish on the Champions Tour with his T6 at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS this week. Hart was T6 at the 2011 AT&T Championship.
• The hardest hole at Fox Chapel Golf Club this week was the par-4 8th hole, yielding just 14 total birdies (4.484)…The easiest hole has been the par-5 2nd, giving up 19 eagles and 175 birdies (4.407).
• Bogey-free rounds:
Round 1 – Mark Calcavecchia (68)
Round 2 – Fred Couples (62)
Round 3 – Kenny Perry (63)
Round 4 – Kenny Perry (64)
|Course stats: Fox Chapel Golf Club|
• Last year, the Fox Chapel Golf Club course played to a stroke average of 70.550.
• Defending champion Joe Daley finished T34 in defense of his title at Fox Chapel this week…Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf both had 23 birdies, the most by players in the field…Mark Calcavecchia only had five bogeys, the fewest by a player this week.