Perry very clutch at end to edge Langer for 3M Championship title

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2014 - 6:02 AM

Birdie makes Kenny Perry a winner after Bernhard Langer’s charge erases his comfortable lead.

The putt was dead-center the whole way. Never a doubt, Kenny Perry said — the 15-foot uphill birdie try with a slight break was headed for the bottom of the 18th hole at TPC Twin Cities.

“An easy putt for me,” Perry said. “I don’t always make ’em. But I should.”

This one went as scripted. When the final rotation turned, it put a bow on a 7-under-par 65 in the final round of the 3M Championship on Sunday, giving the 53-year-old Perry a 23-under total he thought would be plenty for his seventh Champions Tour victory.

It wound up being just enough, because Bernhard Langer had a different ending in mind.

“Talk about a bubble deflation,” said Perry, who was 6 under through 11 holes, then made six straight pars. “I’m thinking this deal’s over. I didn’t see a scoreboard until 17.”

Playing one group ahead and trailing Perry by three shots to start the day, Langer clawed his way into a tie at 22 under heading to the par-5 18th.

Then the golf gods took over.

Langer’s drive came to rest on a sprinkler head mound in the fairway, leaving him with an uneven lie. He struck the approach shot awkwardly, causing the ball to land in tall, thick grass in front of the green. He was fortunate to save par after a tricky chip that forced him to have one foot on grass and the other on a landscape boulder.

“Not my normal stance,” Langer deadpanned.

That was lucky for Perry, who got away with a poor drive when he bombed his second shot from 225 yards away. The ball landed under the grandstand behind the cavernous green.

“That’s the shot, off the green monster back there,” said Perry, who won $262,500 with the victory. “It was a beautiful shot, but it didn’t carom back.”

A free drop set up the harder-than-he-thought victory over Langer, the Schwab Cup points leader.

Perry will hope to use the momentum this week when he competes on a special exemption into the PGA Championship at Valhalla in his home state of Kentucky.

For Langer, it’s a feeling of disappointment despite finishing the day 9 under.

“My goal was to shoot 8 under, thinking 21 under should have a chance to win,” Langer said. “I outdid myself and still didn’t win. It just proves how good the players are out here. What Kenny did this week was pretty exceptional. Certainly amazing golf.”

The final scoring average for the tournament was 69.609, the lowest in the 22-year history of the event.

Perry and Langer were the last two standing on a weekend bleeding with red numbers. Jeff Maggert, Gene Sauers and Marco Dawson all finished tied for third at 20 under.

Paul Goydos, making his Champions Tour debut at TPC Twin Cities, remarked before the start of the traditionally low-scoring tournament, “I didn’t see 16, 20 under par” following a practice round.

But the galleries were treated to birdie after birdie. Eight players completed the tournament 16 under or better. Goydos finished in a six-way tie for ninth at 14 under, a group that included Hale Irwin and Wes Short Jr.

Irwin, 69, bettered his age in all three rounds of the tournament and finished in the top 10 for the second time in four years.

Short shot the round of the tournament Sunday with a 10-under 62, one shy of the 3M record set in 2010 by David Frost.

Langer, 56, was denied a third 3M Championship title one week after coasting to a 13-shot victory at the Senior British Open in Wales.

Even without the victory, Langer continues his run of dominance on the Champions Tour. He has finished in the top 10 in 28 of his past 30 starts, including the Masters.

“The competition is great out here but he’s like a robot,” said Sauers, one of Langer’s playing partners Sunday. “As long as I can stay near him, I’ll be fine.”

Langer stood on a hill beside the 18th green watching Perry’s last two shots, munching on a banana for added energy should there be a playoff.

Instead, he walked away ready for some much-needed rest, staying stateside.

“I’m ready for more than one day off,” he said.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters