Memories of relinquishing his Masters lead over the final holes two months ago spurred Kenny Perry to victory at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut yesterday.
PGA Tour veteran Perry claimed his second victory of the year and jumped to the top of the FedEx Cup standings as he won the Travelers by three strokes from David Toms in Cromwell.
Perry, 48, shot a final-round, seven-under-par 63 at TPC River Highlands to reach 22 under par for the tournament, three shots clear of Toms, who closed with a 65, while Paul Goydos, the 54-hole leader, finished in third at 18 under following a 67.
Ryan Moore (64), Hunter Mahan (64) and Ben Curtis (65) tied for fourth.
Perry had Masters victory within his grasp at Augusta National in April as he led the major by two shots with two to play, only to fall into a play-off with Chad Campbell and eventual champion Angel Cabrera and having to settle for a tie for second.
Perry made no mistake this time as he won his 12th tournament since his 40th birthday in August 2000, his 14th in total and added to the FBR Open title he sealed at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona, back in February.
“I lipped out on a couple, made a nice birdie on 15 and I just kept focus,” Perry said.
“I just kept saying ’if they catch me, great, I can live with that, but I’m not giving this one away’. So that was my idea.”
Perry, who had tied the course record with an opening 61 on Thursday, had started the day a shot behind Goydos but as the overnight leader got off to a steady start, his veteran playing partner in the final group managed birdies at the par-four second and par-five sixth.
Goydos grabbed his first birdie at the par-four seventh but the lead changed hands at the next hole, a par three, which Perry birdied after dialling in off the tee to inside three feet and Goydos bogeyed after missing the green.
The gap widened further at the par-four 10th when Perry birdied and Goydos bogeyed to slip to 15 under while David Toms in the penultimate group birdied the 11th and John Merrick birdied the 12th almost simultaneously to assume a tie for second at 16 under.
Toms added birdies at 13, 15 and 16 while Goydos finished eagle, birdie, par, birdie but Perry clinched the title with further birdies of his own at 11, 15 and 17.
“It started with the 61, right out of the gate,” Perry said. “I played beautifully the next two rounds, didn’t putt as well, but a little bit better yesterday and today it all kind of came together.”
Tag Ridings and Casey Wittenberg finished in a tie for seventh at 16 under while Scott Verplank shot an eight-under-par 62 to get to 15 under for a tie for ninth with Bo Van Pelt.
US Open champion Lucas Glover claimed a tie for 11th place six days after his Bethpage Black heroics with a final-round 65 to join Merrick (69) and Anthony Kim (67) at 14 under.
Bubba Watson posted a 63 to get to 13 under in a tie for 14th DJ Trahan, Boo Weekley and 50-year-old Michael Allen.
Greg Chalmers of Australia finished as the highest-placed international player after closing with a four-under 66 to end the week at 11 under in a tie 19th.
Sergio Garcia of Spain closed with a 66 to finish the event at seven under, tied for 43rd.