Perry Wins FBR Open in Playoff

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

After the first two playoff holes, neither Kenny Perry nor Charley Hoffman looked capable of winning the FBR Open.

They were 1 over, and it looked as if they might have to play
until dark.

"The playoff was ugly," Perry said. "We were hitting it
everywhere, having to scramble from all over the place."

Perry finally finished off Hoffman, making a 22-foot birdie putt
on the third extra hole Sunday at TPC Scottsdale.

Perry closed with a 2-under 69 to match Hoffman (67) at 14-under
270. It was the 13th PGA Tour victory for Perry, the 48-year-old
from Kentucky who won three times last year and played on the
winning U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Perry blew a chance to win in regulation, bogeying the final
hole.

In the playoff, Perry and Hoffman bogeyed and parred the first
two extra holes. Perry then rolled in the long putt on the
332-yard, par-4 17th to end the second straight playoff in the
event.

"Kenny gave me a few opportunities, I gave him a few
opportunities, and he happened to close the door," said Hoffman,
who has one PGA Tour victory, the 2007 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Kevin Na (68) finished third at 13 under. Na rallied from six
strokes back, but barely missed an 8-foot putt on the 18th hole
that would have put him in the playoff.

Na was briefly overcome with emotion after he missed the putt.
After signing his scorecard, he said he was proud of himself for
bouncing back from two bogeys in the first three holes.

"I couldn't have gotten off to any worse start," Na said. "I
was all over the lot. I've got a great short game, and I just made
every putt I could except the last one."

Na has played well at the FBR Open, tying for second in 2005 and
fourth last year.

"I'm going to win here someday," Na said. "Next year. I'm
going to win here multiple times when my career is over, that's for
sure."

This was Perry's 22nd straight FBR Open - and his first victory.

At 48, Perry became the oldest player to win the event. Julius
Boros was 46 when he won in 1967.

"It feels kind of funny playing with all these young kids
nowadays," Perry said. "But to me, this was a place I felt like I
could always win."

Perry, who had played steadily on a sunny, 72-degree afternoon,
seemed likely to win in regulation.

Leading by a stroke, all Perry needed was a par on the 18th, a
hole he birdied twice and parred once this week. But he drove into
a fairway bunker and had to settle for a bogey 5.

Perry didn't panic. He said it reminded him of his victory in
last year's John Deere Classic, when he bogeyed the final hole to
lose the lead, then won a one-hole playoff over Jay Williamson and
Brad Adamonis.

"Same kind of deal," Perry said. "At least I had that to kind
of draw upon."

Perry's bogey set up the playoff, and it wasn't pretty.

The playoff opened at the 438-yard, par-4 18th, and Hoffman and
Perry drove into bunkers and settled for bogeys.

The playoff moved to the 403-yard, par-4 10th, which Hoffman
birdied in each of the first three rounds.

Hoffman bombed his tee shot off a cart path and over the green,
then chipped to 13 feet. Perry drove into the left rough, then hit
an iron 20 feet from the cup.

Both players two-putted, and the playoff dragged on to the 17th.

That was where, in regulation, Perry had taken a short-lived
one-shot lead with a birdie about an hour earlier.

This time, Perry drove to the right of the green, then chipped
to about 22 feet.

Hoffman buried his tee shot in a bunker and somehow chipped to
the fringe.

"I couldn't have dreamed of hitting a better shot than I did,"
Hoffman said. "I was trying to hit it in the middle of the green
and two-putt for par."

Hoffman did that. But he had left open the door for Perry, who
calmly rolled in the winner in front of a gallery that had dwindled
as spectators left to watch the Super Bowl. He earned $1.08
million.

"It had a little more speed on it than I thought, but then it
kind of just hugged right inside that right edge of that hole and
sucked it down," Perry said. "Pretty exciting. Pretty nice way to
win one."


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