LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kenny Perry has one round to go before his farewell tour around Valhalla comes to an end.
For the 53-year-old Perry, its been a grand journey – first making the cut and then recording consecutive 69s on Friday and Saturday to show that the Kentucky native still has the game to compete on the main tour.
Perry is 3 under through three rounds, well back of the top of the leaderboard. But it is definitely more than one could have ever expected for someone over 50 playing a long and wet golf course.
“There’s a lot of scoring opportunities, which is kind of typical,” Perry said of the setup. “Saturday is usually the day they set it up and give us a chance to score. Tomorrow you’ll see dead opposite. You will see really severe pin placements and it’ll be a very severe test tomorrow.”
Perry will celebrate his 54th birthday on Sunday, and knows that he’ll have most of Louisville cheering him on.
“At my age you don’t look forward to birthdays,” Perry said. “Hopefully it’s a nice day, go out there and have a good round of golf. We’re going to have a good time tonight. They’ve got a big party for me planned tonight over at Mark Paige’s house. We’re going to have a good time tonight and enjoy this and come out tomorrow and have a good day.”
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FINALLY MAKING THE RIGHT MOVES: Since the Florida Swing ended in March it’s been a season to forget for Hunter Mahan.
Starting at the Shell Houston Open in March, Mahan has not recorded a top 10, missing five cuts and a WD in 14 events.
The results in the events he made cuts in were far from Mahan-like and generally exhibited the inability to put four solid rounds together.
But over the last couple of weeks, Mahan has seen his game get better, including a T-15 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week.
“I felt good the last couple of weeks,” Mahan said. “I felt like my swing has been really nice, been rolling it really, really well. “
Shooting a 6-under 65 on Saturday at Valhalla, Mahan moved himself in contention with six birdies and a confidence he has not exhibited much in 2014.
“Today some of those putts that would have lipped out lipped in today,” Mahan said of the importance of the short game. “Making those 10- to 15‑footers are what I need to do to shoot a good round and I was able to do that today and I haven’t been able to do that in the last few weeks.”
Now Mahan has to finish it off. In the Open Championship and at Bridgestone, Mahan recorded his only final rounds in the 60s this year. If he could do the same on Sunday, his chances of winning his sixth title and first major could finally materialize.
“Confidence is building every day,” Mahan said. “I feel like I can just set up to the ball and go swing right now and not think too much.”