Larry extends his winning streak

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GRANITEVILLE --- The way Kenny Larry is playing, he hates to take a break, even if that was his plan.

Larry won his third consecutive senior division Regions Cup title -- and a record-tying fifth of the season -- in the Orville White Cup at Midland Valley Country Club on Sunday.

The victory was worth 75 Regions Cup points and clinched Larry's third consecutive Senior Player of the Year title with one event left.

Larry planned to skip the final event -- at Jones Creek Golf Club this weekend -- if he had wrapped up player of the year honors.

Now that he's done that, Larry's having second thoughts about bypassing Jones Creek, where he is the defending senior champion. He said there is a "50-50" chance that he'll play.

"You hate to miss an opportunity when you're playing well," said Larry, who shot 71-68 to finish at 5-under-par 139 at Midland Valley.

"You never know about this golf game; it's so fickle," he said. "You can play well right now, but next year it's not guaranteed that you're going to play well."

Whether Larry plays also depends on what his father, Melvin, who is visiting this week from Sacramento, Calif., wants to do this weekend.

Larry said he didn't have his "A" game Sunday. He hit a few poor tee shots but scrambled well and closed out his round by making a 35-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 9 (his 18th hole).

It gave him a three-shot win over Joe Fairey (72-70--142). Glen Hurt (72-71--143) was third.

If the 53-year-old Larry does play and win at Jones Creek, he would tie the Regions Cup career record for senior victories at 13. It is shared by Ed Payne and Mike Jackson.

A victory there also would break Jackson's record of wins in a season. Jackson had five in 2004.

USC Aiken golfer Kevin Grady, who was a first-round co-leader with 68, closed with 69, a round that featured three birdies and an eagle (on No. 7).

Grady, 21, won by three shots over 19-year-old Garland Smith (70-70) of Edgefield and Augusta veteran Tripp Kuhlke (71-69).

Grady, who will be a senior this fall, had an advantage over Smith and Kuhlke. Grady works part time in the Midland Valley pro shop as an attendant and plays the course about twice a week, he said.

"I just wanted to play solid because I hadn't played in anything in about a month and wanted to play in something before I went back to school," Grady said. "I knew if I played solid I could compete to win."

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.


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