Perry wins 3M Championship for third time
August 05, 2018
By The Associated Press
- August 05, 2018
- Kenny Perry shot 66-60-69 to win at TPC Twin Cities. (Courtesy of Charlie Anderson/3M Championship)
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) -- Kenny Perry created more drama than he wanted Sunday in the last 3M Championship.
He closed with a 3-under 69 for a three-stroke victory in the PGA TOUR Champions event that will transition to the PGA TOUR's 3M Open in 2019.
Also the 2014 and 2015 winner at TPC Twin Cities, the 57-year-old Perry matched Hale Irwin's tournament record of three victories in the final edition of the event that started in 1993 at Bunker Hills.
"It's an honor. Incredible. He's one of the greatest players of all time," Perry said.
Perry's not done at the course where he finished in the top seven in all but one of his eight appearances, saying he'll participate in the 2019 3M Open. Players in the top-50 PGA Tour career money list -- Perry is 26th -- can cash in a one-time, season-long exemption to return to the TOUR after they've lost status.
"This golf course fits me to a T. ... It's going to be so long next year, I probably won't even recognize it when I come back," he said. "I'll be back here hitting long irons while those kids will be hitting wedges."
Five shots ahead after rounds of 66 and 60, Perry finished at 21-under 195 to win his 10th PGA TOUR Champions title and first since the 2017 U.S. Senior Open. He won the last of his 14 PGA TOUR titles in 2008.
Following offseason shoulder surgery, Perry's best finish this season had been fifth at the Insperity Invitational in early May.
"I was very nervous today," he said. "It's hard to go out with a five-shot lead and be the hunted instead of being the hunter. It felt very odd out there. I didn't want to give it away; I didn't want to play too aggressive, I didn't want to play too safe."
He came out flat and mishit many shots.
Back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 6 and 7 -- Perry had one in the first two rounds -- coupled with a seventh-hole birdie by Glen Day dropped Perry's lead to one stroke. Day had a bogey at the par-3 eighth and Perry rolled in a birdie putt at nine, pushing the lead back to three.
"That calmed me down and I was able to go out there and shoot a good back nine," said Perry, who was 14-under on the back nine this week.
Looking for his first win since the 2014 Quebec Championship, Wes Short Jr. was second after a 63.
"Last year I shot 62 in the final round and I was thinking about that today, and (four) years ago I shot 62 in the last round," said Short, who finished seventh last year and ninth in 2014. "I knew that catching Kenny was probably going to be out of the question, but I thought maybe I could get second with a good round today."
Playing two groups in front of Perry, Short got within two shots with three holes to go, but Perry made a birdie putt at 16 for a three-shot advantage.
"I knew I needed to make that, somehow get that in there to give a little bit of a cushion," Perry said.
In his first PGA TOUR Champions event, Tom Gillis (67) joined Day (70) six shots back at 15 under. Gillis, who turned 50 July 16, won the Tuesday qualifier.
"I haven't played golf for seven days in a row in over two years, so I was happy how I held up physically and mentally," Gillis said. "I lost my status on the tour when I was 48. ... I'm overly pleased."
Kenny Perry, 66-60-69—195 (-21)
• The win is the 10th in Kenny Perry’s PGA TOUR Champions career. He entered the 3M Championship No. 27 in the Charles Schwab Cup, but with his first victory of the year moves to No. 19 with $567,359 in earnings.
• Perry’s 54-hole 21-under 195 records as the lowest score in a 54-hole event by a winner on PGA TOUR Champions this season.
• Perry became just the second player to win the 3M Championship three times (Hale Irwin; 1997, 1999, 2002) and the first PGA TOUR Champions player to do so since Bernhard Langer won the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex (2010, 2014, 2017).
• With $1,146,570.84 in purse winnings, Perry joins Bernhard Langer and Hale Irwin as the only three players to earn over $1,000,000 in tournament history.
• Perry won in his third 3M Championship title in his eighth start, and in 24 rounds, has recorded 20 of them in the 60s and only one over par for a 66.76 scoring average at TPC Twin Cities.
• Perry is now 6-for-9 on converting 36-hole leads into victories on PGA TOUR Champions.
• At 57 years, 11 months, 26 days, Perry becomes the oldest winner of the 3M Championship replacing the inaugural winner Chi Chi Rodriguez (57 years, 7 months, 27 days).
• Perry will use his top-50 earnings on the PGA TOUR money list to compete in next year’s 3M Open.
Wes Short Jr., 67-68-63—198 (-18)
• Wes Short Jr. carded the lowest final round score of the day with a 9-under 63 to move four places up the leaderboard. The closest Short came to catching leader Perry was within two-strokes until Perry birdied No. 16 to pull away.
• Short ties his career-best 54-hole score of 198 (2014/ Shaw Charity Classic).
• His runner-up finish is his best since finishing runner-up at the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods Open. Short owns one victory on PGA TOUR Champions (2014 Quebec Championship), three runner-up finishes and 25 top-10s.
• Short moves from No. 30 to No. 23 in the Charles Schwab Cup with $513,837 in earnings.
• Last year at the 3M Championship, Short posted a final-round 10-under 62 to elevate into the top-10 and finish T7 alongside Perry.
Glen Day, 66-65-70—201 (-15)
• Glen Day opened the final round of his third appearance at the 3M Championship with back-to-back birdies and with a birdie on No. 7, moved within one-stroke of leader Perry. Day bogeyed No. 8 and allowed Perry to push for the lead as he birdied No. 9. Day finished at 2-under 70.
• Day’s 15-under 201 landed him in a two-way tie for third. This is one-stroke over Day’s 54-hole career-best, previously set at the 2016 3M Championship.
• Day now owns one runner-up finish and five top-10s this season on PGA TOUR Champions.
• Day moves from No. 27 to No. 21 in the Charles Schwab Cup with $521,052.
Tom Gillis, 67-67-67—201 (-15)
• Open qualifier, Tom Gillis carded three consistent rounds of 5-under 67 to finish T3 in his PGA TOUR Champions debut.
• Gillis holds the best finish by an open qualifier this year besting Dennis Clarke’s seventh-place finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic.
• His last appearance on the PGA TOUR came at the 2016 Wyndham Championship where he finished T57. On the PGA TOUR, Gillis owns two runner-up finishes and 10 finishes in the top 10.
• After opening with an even par 72, Bob Estes bounced back to card a 7-under 65 on Saturday. On Sunday, Estes worked a bogey-free round for a 6-under 66 finish moving up the leaderboard eight places for T5. This is his second T5 finish of the season (Cologuard Classic) and third of his PGA TOUR Champions career.
• 2016 3M Champion, Joe Durant opened with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 and closed with a birdie on No. 18 for a 5-under 66, moving up the leaderboard eight places into the top-five. It marks Durant’s eighth top-10 finish of the year.
• Kevin Sutherland carded birdies on Nos. 3-5 en route to a final-round 6-under 66. The 2017 Charles Schwab Cup winner finished T5 at 13-under 203. The finish marked his sixth top-10 placement of the year.
• Tim Petrovic carded a bogey-free round with four birdies to finish 13-under 203 for his fourth top-five finish of the year.
• Scott Parel landed an eagle on No. 18 for a 12-under 204 finish and his fifth top-10 of the season.