August 10, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Perry wrapped up his PGA championship on his birthday carding a bogey-free 68. (photos by Andrew Reddington/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kenny Perry played his final PGA Championship Sunday at Valhalla, and he didn't go out quietly.
The 54-year-old Kentucky native, who had received a special exemption into the field, was serenaded to a chorus of "Happy Birthday!" as he made his way up the 18th.
He rewarded the fans with a birdie to shoot 68 to finish his week at 6 under.
"I hit the prettiest little 4-iron hybrid I've hit all week," he said. "Hit it stoney. Could have used that 20-something years ago. That would made my life a big game-changer."
It was at the 1996 PGA at Valhalla when Perry lost to Mark Brooks in a playoff. Brooks reached the green in two on the par-5 finishing hole, while Perry found rough off the tee and went on to make bogey.
This time, Perry hit his second through the back of the green, chipped up and made a 12-footer for birdie.
As he made his way to the green, the fans broke out into song.
"It was pretty special," said Perry, who was bogey free. "I had huge galleries. Pretty neat way to go out."
What's next for Perry?
He'll take the next two months off and says he'll play the Champions Tour on occasion.
"I'm glad," the 14-time PGA TOUR champion and six-time Champions Tour winner said. "I'm ready for it. Thirty years of trying to make 3-footers, I'm ready to do something else. It's been great. I had my time, had my chance and my opportunities. It was awesome. I enjoyed every bit of the ride."