Perry claims third win of 2008
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2008 John Deere Classic | Round Four | 14 Jul 2008
Kenny Perry has won for the third time in his last five starts on the PGA Tour and moves into second position on the 2008 PGA Tour money list following his playoff victory at the John Deere Classic in Illinois. Interestingly the highly ranked and highly regarded player will not be at the Open Championship this week.
Earlier this year Perry set himself on a mission to be a member of the 2008 US Ryder Cup Team and although that mission has now been accomplished, he is sticking to his plan to play in events that suit him. There is little doubt that his plan is working but one wonders if there is a thought in Perry’s mind that suggests he should be on his way to Royal Birkdale this week.
He is, after all, currently 20th in the world ranking and will move even higher this week. Instead, Perry will be in Milwaukee for the US Bank Championship and will likely be in contention once again.
Perry won a playoff over Brad Adomonis and Jay Williamson after he was the only player to avoid the water at the first extra hole and safely two putted for par. Perry, along with PGA Tour rookie, Brad Adamonis and Eric Axley led into the final day but halfway through the final round as many as eight players still had a genuine chance to win. Not only was a victory at stake but for several of those in contention, the chance to play the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, was up for grabs.
The leading player inside the top five in this event and not already exempt for the Open Championship would earn a place in the field. Although he will be disappointed at finding the water at the first extra hole, 41-year-old Jay Williamson has some consolation in that he will play the Open for the first occasion. He and Adamonis finished on the same score but Williamson gets the one available exemption on countback by virtue of his better final round.
Will MacKenzie, Charlie Wi and Eric Axley shared fourth, a bogey at the 17th costing MacKenzie a chance to get his career back on track after knee surgery earlier this season. He is a talented player, who should build on this confidence boosting week.
The best of the Australians was South Australian David Lutterus, who is in his rookie season on the PGA Tour. Lutterus finished 24th after a strong finishing nine holes. It has not been an easy initiation at this higher level in 2008 but his finish this week, his best of the year in 12 starts, will be a source of encouragement.
Aaron Baddeley in his lead-up to the Open Championship was 29th, Gavin Coles and Jason Day 41st, Andrew Buckle and Nick Flanagan 50th and Nathan Green, after a battling 76 today, 66th.
The PGA Tour now heads east to Milwaukee in Wisconsin for this week’s US Bank Championship.