The numbers are staggering.
In five years at the 3M Championship, Kenny Perry has finished no worse than a tie for seventh. His scoring average at the par-72 TPC Twin Cities in Blaine is 66.47. He has a hole-in-one and has shot in the 70s only once in 15 rounds: a 1-under 71 in the second round of 2013.
“When you get to a certain place, you just seem to get comfortable,” said Perry, who won three times at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village during his career. “It’s like an old pair of shoes. That’s what it feels like when I come here. I understand this course, I understand how to win here.”
Two inches of early-morning rain Thursday means the golf course will play long with pillow-soft greens when the tournament begins Friday morning. That should be enough to cement a three-peat for Perry, right?
Don’t bet on Perry betting on himself.
“You make hay out here in your early 50s,” said Perry, now 55. “I can kind of see a little decline in my golf game. I saw the same thing on the regular tour and then my game matched up really well the first four, five years out here and now my game is slipping away, getting worse.”
Perry actually sees that as a good thing.
He has three top-10 finishes this season but hasn’t played since a 21st-place finish in the American Family Insurance Championship in late June. He’s spent the past month chasing after his five grandkids and has a sixth on the way later this summer.
“I don’t even know where my game is,” Perry said. “I’m enjoying life. For 35 years I grinded and grinded and never took time off. Golf every day … I wasn’t around for my kids when I was out on Tour chasing it, trying to make a living. I don’t want to do that with my grandkids.”
Ryder Cup review
Four former Ryder Cup captains — two for Team USA and two for Europe – and 22 former Ryder Cup players are in the 3M Championship field. Most have been hearing from fans and volunteers about the excitement building for the biannual event to be held this fall at Hazeltine National in Chaska.
A number of players plan to come back to Minnesota in eight weeks, whether for media or corporate events. Colin Montgomerie will appear as an analyst on Britain’s SkySports and on NBC.
Working or watching, all agree the event is high on their career accomplishments list.
“Nobody loses in the Ryder Cup,” Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez said. “It’s an amazing tournament. One team wins, one does not win. But it’s golf that always wins.”