Perry witnessing, enjoying run of magical performance


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After watching two miraculous shots at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 this past weekend, Kenny Perry is hoping he can see more of the same magic when the Constellation Senior Players Championship begins next week at Fox Chapel Golf Club.

Preferably from himself.

Perry didn't need any magic a year ago when he set the tournament's 54-hole scoring record and won the Senior Players Championship -- sparking a run of three consecutive major titles for this player who won 14 times but never any majors on the PGA Tour.

But he certainly wouldn't mind being a part of what happened to him at the U.S. Open.

Perry, 53, was the oldest player in the field, having received an automatic exemption for winning the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb. But he felt young and invigorated after he shot a final-round par-70 Sunday to finish tied for 28th.

"What a way to end it," said Perry, who made the cut for the 10th time in 13 U.S. Open appearances. "I played nicely. Made some birdies, [shot] 70, probably my last U.S. Open, so I was pretty ecstatic."

That was the way Perry felt Saturday, too, thanks to a holed shot for an eagle from the scruffy waste area at No. 14. Perry had to hook a hybrid from 220 yards around a tree and thought his ball was going to run over the green.

Perry said it was the longest shot he has ever holed.

"I just kind of hit it over the cross bunker up there and just landed over it and ran it on the green and it just kept rolling," Perry said. "I was expecting to watch it roll over the back. Then I saw everybody jump up in the air, I knew it went in the hole. It was pretty special."

Sunday, Perry was playing with Zach Johnson when Johnson recorded the only hole in one of the tournament, sinking a 7-iron from 167 yards. It was Johnson's first ace in competition.

Perry must be something of a good-luck charm. He was paired with Peter Jacobsen in the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst when Jacobsen aced the same hole.

But Perry has had his own share of good fortune. Two years ago, in the inaugural Senior TPC at Fox Chapel, Perry had a hole in one at No. 17 -- the par-3 hole with the infamous Biarritz green.

"All in all, it was a great week," Perry said. "I'm top-30, I guess, so I can't complain."

He's hoping to have another next week.

■ What: Constellation Senior Players Championship, Fox Chapel Golf Club.

■ When: June 26-29.

■ TV: Golf Channel.

■ Purse: $2.7 million.

■ 2013 winner: Kenny Perry.

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com and Twitter @gerrydulac.


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