Fort Worth: Kenny Perry picked up his fifth PGA Tour title when a closing two-under-par 68 helped him cruise to a six-shot victory at the Colonial Classic on Sunday.
The 42-year-old American posted a competition record 19-under-par aggregate of 261 after starting the final round with a massive eight-stroke lead following his 61 on Saturday.
“That’s always really been important for me, to get five,” Perry said. “I can’t say enough for how I felt this week. I was very calm, very relaxed...it was easy.”
Justin Leonard flirted with a 59 before a bogey at the 18th tied the course record of 61 jointly held by Perry, Greg Kraft (1999), Keith Clearwater (1993) and Lee Janzen (1993). The 1997 British Open champion was second on 267.
Jeff Sluman (65) was on 268, 12-under, followed by Brandt Jobe (64) on 269. Pat Bates (66), 2004 Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton (67), South African Rory Sabbatini (69) and Jim Furyk (68) were all on 270.
Perry, who last won on the Tour in 2001, birdied the par-five first hole and then strung together 10 straight pars before picking up more shots at the 12th and 13th. His only bogey came at the par-three 16th, his first in 58 holes.
“I tried to play smart, I tried to just put the ball in the middle of the green,” said Perry after collecting the biggest pay cheque of his career — $900,000.
In an event featuring the world’s leading female golfer Annika Sorenstam, who missed the cut, Leonard added to the excitement by threatening to join the ‘59 club’.
Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991) and David Duval (1999) on the PGA Tour and only Sorenstam on the LPGA Tour had previously shot 59.