Perry's hot streak continues

Monday, July 14, 2003

MILWAUKEE -- Kenny Perry isn't about to analyze the hottest streak of his career.

"I don't know why all of a sudden I'm winning golf tournaments," Perry said after his victory Sunday at the Greater Milwaukee Open, his third win in four starts. "It's just my time, and I believe in my heart I'm going to win."

Perry sank a three-foot birdie putt for a one-stroke victory over Steve Allan and Heath Slocum at the GMO.

He won the Colonial and Memorial tournaments and finished third at the U.S. Open before taking three weeks off leading up to the GMO at Brown Deer Park, where he shot a 4-under-par 66 Sunday for a 12-under 268 total.

Brett Quigley finished in fourth, two strokes back.

Allan, Slocum and Quigley all were vying for their first PGA Tour victory.

"I had nothing to lose and those guys are fighting to win their first," said Perry, a seven-time winner on Tour who surpassed $13 million in career winnings.

Perry had to rally after his one-shot lead over Allan turned into a three-stroke deficit over a 16-minute span thanks to a bogey on the 12th hole and a double-bogey on No. 13.

Over the final four holes, Perry, who began the day with a one-stroke lead over six golfers, including Allan, had three birdies and a par and Allan shot three pars and a bogey.

Allan was on the practice range hoping for a playoff when he watched on a big screen as Perry hit his iron shot into thick rough 20 feet past the hole on 18 and then chipped to within three feet of the hole.

"When I saw the chip, I pretty much expected him to make it," Allan said. "He's a good putter."

Slocum, who had already birdied 18, also knew there would be no playoff.

"He'd been putting well all day," Slocum said. "I expected him to make it."

Perry felt great about his chances.

"I blasted out of that stuff and I had a 3-footer straight uphill to win," he said. "What kind of putt would you like to win the golf tournament but straight in under the hole uphill?"

Perry birdied No. 17 after seeing that Allan had bogeyed the hole.

"I said, 'Oh my goodness, if I birdie the last two holes, I can win the golf tournament,"' said Perry, who sank a 22-footer on 17.

Perry's first-place check of $630,000 gives him $3,522,538 for the year, the first time he's passed the $3 million mark.

Allan, who had made just one cut and won just $8,240 this year, and Slocum each got $308,000.

Perry had finished in the top five the last three years and the GMO.

"I always thought I could win here. I really did," he said. "I just play so well here year after year after year. I felt like it was going to be my time. I really enjoy this golf course."

Even though it has more teeth than ever.

Since the GMO moved to Brown Deer Park in 1994, the winning score had ranged from 15 to 24 under par.

One reason for the higher scores is the fourth hole was changed from a par-5 to a par-4 with the removal of a large oak tree, although it's still 485 yards to the hole.

Perry parred the hole all four days.

Weekend conditions were ideal for scoring after wind and rains hampered play the first two days, but the notoriously thick rough was higher than normal, putting the U.S. Open to shame and the pin placement was very difficult.

Senior Players

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Craig Stadler wasted little time in earning his first victory on the Champions Tour, shooting a 6-under 66 to win the Senior Players Championship.

Playing in only his fourth tournament on the tour, Stadler won the third of this year's five majors by three shots over Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe and Tom Watson at the TPC of Michigan. Stadler earned $375,000.

Stadler, whose round included three consecutive birdies on the front nine, finished with a 72-hole total of 17-under 271. He took advantage of a hot putter to became the 17th winner in 18 Champions Tour events in 2003.

Canadian Women's Open

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Beth Daniel birdied the final two holes in rainy conditions for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory over Juli Inkster at the Canadian Women's Open.

Daniel, 46, finished at 13-under 275 for her 33th career title and first win since 1995. She won $195,000.

Scottish Open

LUSS, Scotland -- Ernie Els won the Scottish Open by five strokes after shooting a 2-under 69.

Els, tuning up to defend his British Open title this week at Royal St. George's, finished at 17-under 267. Darren Clarke and Phillip Price both shot 69 and were second at 272, while Gary Murphy had a 67 and was fourth at 274.

-- From wire reports

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