Kenny Perry Earns 2-Stroke Win over Kirk Triplett
In 2001 over 200,000 Fans packed into Salem CC to see Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player. Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tom Kite. Larry Nelson and a host of other Hall of Fame Tour Players battle for the U.S. Senior Open. Bruce Fliesher won the championship finishing even par just two strokes ahead Jack Nicklaus, who was in the hunt on the final day. Fleisher earned $430,000 for the victory.
Just 16 years later the Champions Tour returned to the famed 1925 Donald Ross layout for the 2017 U.S. Senior Open. The fans enjoyed a lot more room to view the event this year than in 2001 as Perry bested the 2001 winning score by 16 shots. It was Perry’s second U.S. Senior Open victory, the other coming in 2013 at Omaha, joining a list of six players to win multiple Senior U.S. Opens.
In the final round, Perry was a shot behind Kirk Triplett at the 38th Senior U.S. Open, the 56-year-old put together a consistent, solid round of 68 to finish at 16-under par and win his fourth Major event on the Champions Tour, outdistancing Triplett by 2 strokes to earn the first-place check of $720,000. Triplett finished second after shooting a 1-over-par 71. Brandt Jobe finished 9-under to take third. Tom Lehman and Fred Couples finished in a tie for fourth at 8-under.
After birdies on the first and sixth holes, Perry played par golf the rest of the way. He hit a long putt on 15 to make par and pave his way to the win. Bernhard Langer, No. 1 on the Tour entering the weekend, and the winner of the first two Majors on Tour this season, finished at 2-under, 14 shots behind Perry. He went 72-74 after starting the week 67-65.
Kenny Perry’s total of 264 sets a 72-hole scoring record in the U.S. Senior Open. The previous record was 267, set by Hale Irwin at Saucon Valley Country Club in 2000, and matched by Perry in 2013 at Omaha (Neb) Country Club.
— USGA (@USGA) July 3, 2017
Perry is the sixth multiple winner of the U.S. Senior Open Championship. He also won the 2013 championship at Omaha and joins Miller Barber (1982, 1984, 1985), Gary Player (1987, 1988), Jack Nicklaus (1991, 1993), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000) and Allen Doyle (2005, 2006).
Perry’s 16-under-par total is the third-lowest score in relation to par in championship history. Only Fred Funk (20 under, 2009) and Hale Irwin (17 under, 2000) were more under par in 72 holes in a U.S. Senior Open.
With winning scores of 16 under par in both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior this year the USGA will most likely look to create much more difficult conditions at both Shinnecock, in NY and the Broadmore, in Colorado Springs.