15th Annual Gerry Dulac Parkway West Rotary Charity Classic
Monday, July 29th
Sewickley Heights Golf Club
Benefits Robinson Twp. Parks & Recreation Department and Parkway West Rotary Charities
Includes: 18-hole Scramble, Gift, Continental Breakfast, Dinner, Auction.
Register online at parkwaywestrotary.com
Special Editions of the Golf Show
It seemed like a strange comment coming from Kenny Perry, a player who won 14 times on the PGA Tour, including 11 after his 40th birthday.
The same Kenny Perry who has won just twice in 3 1/2 years on the Champions Tour.
"This is one of the hardest tours I've played on," Perry said of the Champions Tour. "I thought it was easier on the PGA Tour than out here."
Perry was no slouch on the PGA Tour, one of those players who kept getting better as he got older. He lost in playoffs to Mark Brooks in the PGA Championship (1996) and Angel Cabrera at the Masters (2009), played on two Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup teams, and won five times on the PGA Tour after he turned 47.
But, since turning 50 in August 2010, he has just two wins on the Champions Tour -- the 2011 SAS Championship and the 2012 Ace Group Classic.
He is hoping to add to that total this week at the Constellation Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club -- the third of five majors on the Champions Tour.
"You got to shoot low out here," Perry said Monday after hitting balls on the practice range. "There's no backing up on Sundays. That's why these guys are called champions.
"You got to be 15, 18 under for 3 rounds, and I never played that way. I was better in more of a marathon. I'm not better in a sprint. I shot 11 under last week and lost by two; 13 under won. So that's right in my ballpark. But when they start getting 18 or 20 under, I don't usually do well."
That is not always the case.
Perry won the 1995 Bob Hope Desert Classic with a five-round score of 25 under. In 2009, at age 49, he won the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn., with a tournament-record score of 22-under 258.
But Perry said that is not his style.
"There were a few places I did go crazy, but that's just a magical week with the putter and everything went my way," Perry said. "My putter has always been my weakest link. I make a lot of birdies, but I don't seem to make the putts when you need to make them to keep it going. I like where 9, 10, 12 under wins. Then I'm right in the ballgame."
Perry is coming off a third-place finish Sunday at the Encompass Championship in suburban Chicago, where he had three rounds in the 60s. A month ago, he tied for second at the Senior PGA Championship, the first of the tour's five majors.
He returns to Fox Chapel with a lot of positive vibes. He finished eighth in 2012, had the only hole in one at the Biarrtiz green at No. 17 and loved everything he saw about the Seth Raynor-designed course.
"It was my favorite course of the year," Perry said. "It was just a joy to play. It was in great shape and you kind of use a lot of different clubs in your bag. And you got to putt well. You need some local knowledge [on the greens]. I didn't have a lot last year. At least I have one year under my belt."
NOTES -- Today is the first day for practice rounds that are open to the public. ... A Championship Challenge in which Tom Lehman, John Cook and Corey Pavin will be paired with a former member of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins will be at 2 p.m. at the practice area. Mike Wagner, Kent Tekulve and Phil Bourque will represent the professional teams. The Chuck "The Hit Man" Hiter Trick-Shot show will follow at 3 p.m.