Minnesota’s Fortune 500 giant 3M finally again has a marquee champion of Minnesota’s biggest professional golf tournament. Kenny Perry, the reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion, beat red-hot Bernhard Langer by one shot.
The seniors went low. Perry shot a final round 65 that included a 15-foot birdie to edge out two-time Champion Langer by one shot at -23 under par.
Perry took a one-shot lead into the final round over Marco Dawson. Perry opened up a four-shot lead during the final round, but Langer shot a -9 under 63 to keep the heat on and caught Perry with a birdie on the par 3 17th.
The dramatic par 5 18th hole again decided this championship. Langer tried to reach the 18th in two shots, but his approach shot landed in the high rough real close to the hazard. Somehow Langer hacked his shot out and missed his 20 foot putt for birdie.
Perry in the final group went for the 18th in two shots also and hit his approach shot into the stands behind the green. He received a free drop in deep rough and chipped onto the green 15 feet away. Perry then drilled the putt to win the championship.
“I’m excited to be the champ,” Perry said after the win. “You dream about making those putts, and I knocked it right in the middle, so that was pretty sweet to be able to get out of here with a victory.”
Perry earned his seventh career Champions Tour win. He goes over $1 million in earnings this year for the third consecutive year. Perry now heads to Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky for this week’s PGA Championship, where as a native of Kentucky he has history.
He lost the 1996 PGA Championship in a playoff to Mark Brooks and helped the United States to victory in the 2008 Ryder Cup. The 3M championship is one of the most popular stops on the Champions tour and always draws a strong field and large crowds. The course is always in great condition, and the players shoot the lights out.
Perry’s win is popular for several reasons. He’s a good guy and a big name, and name recognition always goes a long way when your tournament has a great champion. Beating Langer, a two-time 3M champion and number-one player on the Champions tour, strengthens the 3M for years to come.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.
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