Perry wins, Nitties impressive at FBR
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2009 FBR Open | Round Four | 02 Feb 2009
48-year-old Kenny Perry has claimed his 13th PGA Tour victory after outlasting Charley Hoffman in a three-hole playoff to win the FBR Classic in Scottsdale.
Perry took a one shot lead over rookie Scott Piercy into the final day but the challenges would come thick and fast from players such as Australian James Nitties, Ryan Moore, Piercy, Kevin Na and Charley Hoffman. Perry appeared to have done enough when he birdied the 15thand 17th and at 15 under he was one ahead of Hoffman with one to play.
Perry caught the fairway bunker at the 18th and could only manage a bogey and so Hoffman, who had started the day disastrously with two bogies in his first three holes before seven birdies in his next twelve holes had him back in contention, was given a second chance.
Amidst a crowd anxious to get to the coverage of the Superbowl, the playoff between Perry and Hoffman lasted three holes before Perry converted from 20 feet for his fourth victory ion the past nine months.
Kevin Na continued an impressive record at this particular event when he finished alone in third position. In four starts at the FBR Open, Na has finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in addition to one missed cut.
Nitties followed up his very impressive final round of 62 at the Bob Hope Classic last week by being in or near the lead for so much of this event. While no doubt disappointed that he was unable to contend right to the finish, his confidence and his bank balance will have been given a further boost by his share of 4th with David Toms. His bogey at the 17th will haunt him for a while but the US$264,000 will be very welcome so early in his PGA Tour career.
Given his relative inexperience at this level, Nitties was particularly impressive especially early in the round when he joined the lead at 13 under through 9 holes. His only real mistake came when he short sided himself at the driveable par four 17th and three putted but he will take a lot from the week.
The next best of the Australians was Rod Pampling whose final round of 65 moved him from 39th to a share of 12th. John Senden and Geoff Ogilvy were 17th, Jarrod Lyle and Aaron Baddeley 35th, Nathan Green 48th and Steve Elkington 53rd.
The PGA Tour will now move back to California for this week’s Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines.