PITTSBURGH — Kenny Perry tried not to get ahead of himself Sunday on the 18th tee at the Senior Players Championship. He knew all too well how quickly fortunes can change on golf’s biggest stages.
There was the devastation at the PGA Championship in 1996. Disaster at the Masters Tournament in 2009. Disappointment at the Senior PGA last month.
If there was a way to lose a major tournament, the affable 52-year-old Kentuckian seemed to have found it during his otherwise sterling career.
“I thought I was snakebit,” Perry said.
This time, Perry didn’t leave anything to chance.
After tap-in birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 gave him a two-shot lead over Fred Couples, Perry made par on the No. 18 to close a spectacular weekend at Fox Chapel. His bogey-free 6-under round left him at 19-under, two shots ahead of Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf.
“My word was patience,” Perry said. “I wasn’t going to put any pressure on myself to win the golf tournament ... I was just thinking ‘You know what, I’m tired of worrying about that.’”
Instead of feeling pressure, Perry exerted it. He withstood a charge from Waldorf, who birdied his first four, then kept firing at pins on the back nine.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Maynooth, Ireland, England’s Paul Casey made a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to win the Irish Open by three strokes for his 12th European Tour title.
Casey closed with 5-under 67 to finish at 14-under 274 at Carton House. England’s Robert Rock and Dutchman Joost Luiten tied for second. Rock shot 71, and Luiten had 74.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Newburgh, Ind., Billy Hurley III, Joe Affrunti, Ashley Hall and Ben Martin were tied at 11 under after regulation Sunday when darkness suspended play in the United Leasing Championship.
They will return to Victoria National on Monday for a sudden-death playoff.
Hurley and Affrunti were tied for the lead at 13 under with two holes to play, but dropped back with double bogeys on the par-4 17th. Affrunti four-putted the hole. Hurley, the third-round leader, finished with an even-par 72 in the round that was delayed because of rain. Hall, from Australia, closed with 66, Martin shot 67, and Affrunti had 70.