What I'll remember about 2013: Perry's major breakthrough

Perry's major victory

Watch Kenny Perry win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

PGATOUR.COM asked its staffers and writers what they will remember about the 2013 season. For the archived list of essays and a complete review of the season, click here.

There are studies in the field of psychology on why many people get the shakes from snakes, why the slithery, hissy creatures set off clinical fears and phobias.


Kenny Perry’s dislike was based on a far more practical matter but he put an end to that nonsense at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Good for him, and if you ask Perry, he’ll say the same thing. Good for me.

That’s what made his victory at Fox Chapel over Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf so memorable. Playing outstanding golf hasn’t been Perry’s problem in quite a long time. His issue had been breaking through in major championships.

Twice beaten in playoffs for major titles – at the Masters and the PGA Championship – Perry was beginning to think he was never going to get one of those for his trophy room. And just a few weeks before the SENIOR PLAYERS earlier he had let a big lead slip away late at the Senior PGA Championship.

That all changed in the muck and mire of a rain-soaked Fox Chapel, which, in truth, added to the drama. You know, the gloom of a dark and cloudy sky. But this time it didn’t matter. There was only poetic sunshine for Perry, who had a firm grip on the steering wheel and he brought it home.

Before I forget, I should add right here and now what I was thinking as the final threesome was scurrying down the 18th fairway at Fox Chapel to get it over with before another fast-moving storm cell hit Pittsburgh: Has there ever been any major champion, anywhere, ever, who played the 72nd hole faster than Perry did that day? Nothing fastidious here. Just fast. It was get up, hit it and go – kind of like Perry shifting through the gears of one of his precious hot rods.

But the thing is, he finally got it done and when it was over, it was clear from everything he said and did how important this victory was for him.

“I thought I was snakebit, I really did,” Perry said. “I got close so many times and I just seemed to mess up down the homestretch and not make it happen.”

Not this time. That old snake didn’t get the best of Kenny Perry. Let the psychologists chew on that.