Perry birdies final hole to win 3M Championship
BLAINE, Minnesota (AP) — Kenny Perry scrambled for a birdie on the 18th hole Sunday to beat hard-charging Bernhard Langer by a stroke in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
Perry closed with a 7-under 65 for his second victory of the year and seventh overall on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 23-under 193 at TPC Twin Cities.
Langer, the Senior British Open winner last week by a tour-record 13 shots, shot 63. He overcame a four-shot deficit on the back nine and was tied with Perry going to the par-5 18th.
In the second-to-last group, Langer’s second shot just cleared the water hazard and landed in the tall grass. He chipped on from an awkward stance and two-putted for par.
One group behind, Perry hit his second shot into the grandstand behind the green. After a drop, he pitched to about 15 feet and made the putt.
Jeff Maggert, Gene Sauers and Marco Dawson tied for third at 20 under. Maggert and Sauers shot 65, and Dawson had a 67.
It was the eighth straight year the tournament’s winning score was at least 15 under, including three totals of better than 20 under. David Frost set the record at 25-under 191 in 2010.
Perry also won the Regions Tradition in May.
Looking to get momentum heading into the PGA Championship next week at Valhalla in his home state of Kentucky, Perry birdied four of six holes around the turn for a four-shot lead over Langer, Maggert, Dawson and Sauers.
But Langer, who won the event in 2009 and 2012, birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine, including a lengthy putt on No. 14, to get within one. A birdie putt at 17 moved Langer into a tie less than a minute before Perry made a par putt on No. 16.
Perry, who finished second, third and seventh in the event the past three years, began the day with a one-stroke lead over Dawson. After each held the lead briefly on the opening holes, Dawson eagled and Perry birdied the par-5 sixth to put both players at 18 under.
While Perry birdied Nos. 7 and 8 and made par on the par-4 ninth, Dawson went par-par-bogey to give Perry a three-shot cushion. Dawson’s tee shot on No. 9 found the weeds, forcing him to hit back into the fairway on his second shot.
Sixty-nine-year-old Hale Irwin bettered his age for the third straight day with a 68 to tie for ninth at 14 under. The last player to better his age three times in an event was Gary Player at the 2009 Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Wes Short Jr., who shot a 62 to miss the course record by a stroke, matched Irwin at 14 under.