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GOLF ROUNDUP: Perry cruises at U.S. Senior Open for second straight major title

Kenny Perry shoots a final-round 63 to complete a record comeback victory at the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday.

Kenny Perry shoots a final-round 63 to complete a record comeback victory at the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Kenny Perry savored his “greatest round” of golf after firing a 63 to complete a record comeback victory at the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday and claim a second successive senior major.

The 52-year-old went from 10 shots behind pacesetter Michael Allen at the halfway mark of the tournament to a five-stroke victory in Omaha, Nebraska.

Perry, a winner of 14 PGA Tour titles including a trio of trophies at the Memorial Tournament, said the victory at Omaha Country Club was the highlight of his career.

“Today’s round was probably the greatest round I’ve ever played,” said Perry, who had a 13-under-par total of 267.

“I just was spot-on with all my irons. I putted like Ben Crenshaw. It all just came together for me. It’s just been a remarkable month. I’ve had a great run.”

Perry, who two weeks ago won the Senior Players Championship, shot a 64 in the third round and finished with a seven-under round on Sunday.

Fellow American Fred Funk, who shot a final-round 68 for eight-under-par 272, was in second place.

Another stroke back were Rocco Mediate (66) and Corey Pavin (67) on 273, with Allen a further shot behind after finishing with a two-over 72.

“He put it to us. Six-under yesterday and seven-under today. Back-to-back, it’s kind of what he did two weeks ago at Fox Chapel,” said Funk. “He just smoked the field on the weekend. That’s what you got to do. He just lapped us.”

Perry erased the previous record for the biggest comeback after 36 holes in a senior major, which was seven strokes.

The Kentuckian also set a new standard for the lowest score over the final 36 holes of the U.S. Senior Open at 127, three better than the old mark, and tied records for lowest 72-hole total, lowest score for the last 54 holes (200), and the lowest final-round score.

For Perry, who came agonizingly close to winning a PGA Tour major, winning a national Open was the sweetest of victories.

“It means a lot to win a national Open. For me to have that now attached to my name, (it is) the greatest win I’ve ever had,” he said.

“To lose a Masters in a playoff (2009) and lose a PGA Championship in a playoff (1996), heartbreak. All I felt was heartbreak.

“To finally get it all together and to finally have a major - two majors - attached to my name, is very sweet.”

Perry began the final round two shots behind Allen, but back-to-back birdies from the second hole set the tone for his brilliant finish.

After a bogey at the fifth, Perry made four birdies in a row to make the turn at five-under 30, needing only 10 putts as he took command of the championship.

In winning the U.S. Senior Open, Perry became the 11th player to win back-to-back senior majors.


Mickelson wins in Scotland before British Open

Phil Mickelson overcame a surprising loss of focus on the 72nd hole and held his nerve to beat South Africa’s Branden Grace in a playoff and claim a confidence-boosting maiden win at the Scottish Open at Inverness on Sunday.

Mickelson, 43, had looked certain to claim victory without the need for extra holes as he strolled up the par-five 18th with a one-shot lead.

But the four-times major winner stunned a large and expectant crowd by three-putting from just off the green to hand Grace a reprieve.

Mickelson, however, immediately put the disappointment behind him to birdie the first extra hole following a sensational chip from the front of the green that rolled to within a couple of feet and required a simple tap in.

“I almost let it slide away today but to come out on top means a lot,” Mickelson told Sky Sports.

“I’ve been coming here for quite some time. I was so mad at myself for mentally losing my focus … I came out on that 18th hole (playoff) and refocused.”

The win is a timely boost for Mickelson before the year’s third major championship, the British Open, which begins at Muirfield on Thursday.

Mickelson has tended to struggle on links courses this side of the Atlantic and when asked whether his preparation for this year’s British Open could have been any better, he replied: “No”.

The 18th hole stumble had mirrored the start of the day for Mickelson, who dropped three shots in the first three holes of his final round.

The American, however, steadied with a string of birdies as he carded a final round three-under par 69 to give him a 17-under total of 271.

Grace had produced an impressive back nine to put himself into contention at 17-under but he must have all but packed his gear away before Mickelson’s meltdown created an opportunity to snatch the trophy.

Overnight leader Henrik Stenson faded late in the day to card a final round one-over 73 and finish in a share of third at 15-under (273) alongside Denmark’s JB Hansen.


Teen Spieth wins John Deere Classic on fifth playoff hole

Teenager Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic on the fifth hole of a three-man, sudden-death playoff on Sunday to become the youngest player to win on the PGA Tour since 1931.

The 19-year-old Spieth tapped in for par on the par-four 18th hole to defeat 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who won the tournament last year, and Canadian David Hearn after the trio finished the regulation 72 holes tied at 19 under par.

The three players all parred the first four holes of the playoff despite having chances to win at TPC Deere Run, setting up the finish in Silvis, Illinois.

Spieth, a two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion, became the youngest player to win on the tour since Ralph Guldahl won the Santa Monica Open 82 years ago.