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Kenny Perry Wins John Deere Classic

Kenny Perry beat Brad Adamonis and Jay
Williamson in a playoff to win the John Deere Classic and escape
with his third victory in five starts after bogeying the 18th hole
on Sunday.
Perry had a one-stroke lead at 17-under through 17 only to lose
it thanks to some poor shots from the fringe on the final hole of
regulation. He and Williamson then watched as Adamonis, the PGA
Tour's oldest rookie at 35, missed an 18-foot putt for birdie that
would have won it in regulation and given him his first victory.
The ball stopped three feet short and Adamonis was at 16-under
268 with the others.
While Adamonis and Williamson both hit approach shots into the
pond on No. 18, Perry tapped in from 1 feet, 4 inches for par and
the victory after his 24-footer stopped just short.
He picked the ball out of the cup and raised both arms, an
ear-to-ear grin crossing his face.
He has reason to smile.
He's enjoying the best stretch of his career and collected
$756,000 with his 12th victory. Perry (1-under 70), Adamonis (70)
and Williamson (69) were one stroke ahead of Charlie Wi (69), Will
MacKenzie (70) and Eric Axley (69) after 72 holes.
Williamson earned an invitation to the British Open and, unlike
Perry, accepted it.
Third in the FedEx Cup standings behind Tiger Woods and Phil
Mickelson, Perry might have been a threat there had he not decided
to honor a commitment to play in the U.S. Bank Championship in
Milwaukee instead. He's focusing on the Ryder Cup and on playing
courses he thinks suit his game.
Like TPC Deere Run.
Perry pulled ahead at 17-under with a birdie on the par-4 14th,
and stayed ahead with a putt to save par on the par-3 16th after a
terrible chip from the fringe. After his tee shot settled about 19
feet from the hole, Perry overshot the cup by 16 feet.
No problem.
Instead of a bogey, he knocked in the putt to maintain a
one-shot lead over MacKenzie, but he wasn't as fortunate when a
similar scenario unfolded on 18.
His approach settled on the fringe along the right side, 34 feet
from the cup, and his chip shot went across the green to the fringe
on the left side. Another chip shot for par went about 6 feet, and
Perry hit a 6-foot putt for the bogey that opened the door for
Adamonis and Williamson.
On a balmy, breezy day, Perry was erratic at times off the tee
but his good fortune continued.
Perry lost a playoff at the AT&T Classic in May and won the
Memorial two weeks later. He tied for sixth at the Travelers
Championship and closed out June with another win at the Buick
Open, giving him four top-six finishes in six starts.
Other players have been touching him and asking what he's been
eating lately, hoping to capture some of his magic. The galleries
have been a little larger lately, too, and the PGA Tour even
assigned him a security guard at the course.
It's all new for Perry, who has played more than two decades on
the Tour.
Why now? Perry isn't sure.
His mechanics were off following knee surgery two years ago, and
a new putter has helped his short game, but he has never played
this well for this long. If ever there was a time for him to win a
major, this would seem to be it given his form and Tiger Woods'
knee injury.
Of course, he's skipping the British Open, and he's doing that
after passing on the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifying the day after his
win at the Memorial.
Not that he wouldn't love to win a major, but his major goal at
the moment is helping the U.S. team win the Ryder Cup at Valhalla
in Louisville, about 40 miles from his birthplace.
Zach Johnson (71) finished at 1-under 283 for the tournament,
another disappointing showing at what he considers his home event.
"I'm going to keep fighting," said Johnson, who's grew up just
over an hour away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
He'll take that fight to Royal Birkdale, where he hopes to boost
his chances for the U.S. Ryder Cup team with a strong showing at
the British Open.s
"I play I hard, I play good, things will take care of
themselves," he said.


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