Perry breezes to second straight win

Monday, June 2, 2003

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Kenny Perry has gone unnoticed for 17 years on the PGA Tour.

Not anymore.

One week after a record-setting victory at the Colonial, Perry built another big lead Sunday at the Memorial. He ran out of gas at the end and closed with three straight bogeys, but still shot even-par 72 for a two-shot victory over Lee Janzen.

"This is the time of my life," Perry said. "I've never played golf like this."

It was the first time in his career that the 42-year-old Perry has won twice in the same year -- back-to-back, no less, at two of the most prestigious stops on the PGA Tour.

He lapped the field at Hogan's Alley.

He was just as dominant on the course Jack Nicklaus built.

"I'm sure glad Jack built this golf course because I love it here," said Perry, who joined Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin as the only multiple winners at the Memorial.

Woods, a three-time winner at Muirfield Village, had four birdies and an eagle on the back nine and closed with a 7-under 65. He tied for fourth in his final tournament before the U.S. Open.

No one was going to catch Perry.

He pulled away with four birdies on the front nine to build a five-stroke lead, and Janzen never got any closer until Perry got sloppy.

After making only two bogeys over the first 66 holes, Perry finished with five bogeys and a birdie. He was just trying to get to the clubhouse and collect another trophy.

"About 13, it hit me," Perry said. "I just got flat, started stroking it terrible. Thank goodness I had a lead, and Lee wasn't making anything."

Perry finished at 13-under 275 and earned $900,000 for the second straight week. He moved up to No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list with over $2.5 million, a career-best.

Janzen, winless since his second U.S. Open title at The Olympic Club in 1998, tried to make it interesting. He holed out from a bunker for the third time in two days, but still only managed a 72.

For the second straight week, Perry beat a field that featured the No. 1 player -- Annika Sorenstam at the Colonial, and Woods at the Memorial.

Perry was an afterthought at Colonial, a week that focused on Sorenstam becoming the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.

Even though he set a tournament record at 19 under, Perry figured he would be known as the guy won "Annika's event ... but at least I'll be remembered for something."

Now, he's the rage of the PGA Tour, the sixth player this year to win at least twice.

"He's playing fantastic," said Masters champion Mike Weir, who closed with a 65 and finished third at 10-under 278.

Kellogg-Keebler Classic

AURORA, Ill. -- Annika Sorenstam, playing in her first LPGA Tour event since her historic rounds at the Colonial, breezed to a three-stroke victory in the Kellogg-Keebler Classic.

Though she bogeyed her final two holes, she'd built up such a big lead it hardly mattered. She finished with a 1-under 71, giving her a 17-under 199 for the 54-hole tournament.

"Obviously I'm very, very pleased," she said. "It's been a great week, and to come back and perform the way I did is pretty much incredible."

Mhairi McKay shot even par, finishing three strokes back at 14-under 202.

It was Sorenstam's second victory of the year on the LPGA Tour -- her 44th overall. Sorenstam earned $180,000 with the win, putting her back in first place on the money list with $734,501.

Music City Championship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jim Ahern shot a 3-under 69 to complete a wire-to-wire win at the Champions Tour's Music City Championship, only the third victory of his professional career.

He set the tournament record with a 196 over 54 holes, two strokes better than Isao Aoki in 1998 and Hale Irwin in 2000.

Jose Maria Canizares shot a 67 and finished four strokes back.

-- From wire reports

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