Sunday, June 1, 2003

Still Perry, Perry good


Maintains lead in the Memorial

By Ryan Ernst
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[img]
Kenny Perry celebrates making a par-saving putt on the par-3 fourth hole.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
DUBLIN, Ohio - On a day when the best player in the world was terrible, being good enough was, well, good enough.

Kenny Perry, the winner of last weekend's Bank of America Colonial, stands at 13-under par after shooting a 2-under 70 in the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. He leads by two over Lee Janzen.

The score may look average. The performance was anything but. High winds wreaked havoc with players' club selection and made scoring erratic, and Perry parred the first 11 holes before birdieing 12 and 14. After a bogey on 16 - his only one of the day - he stuck a 5-iron within 4 feet on 18, then sank the birdie putt to finish his round.

The 43-year-old from Franklin, Ky., said his goal was to shoot 18 pars.

"That was probably better than my 61 I shot last week at Colonial," he said. "I mean the conditions were just brutal out there. It was so raw; the wind was blowing so hard. It was hard to choose clubs. I drove it beautifully and I played smart."

Tiger Woods had a rough day. He started with back-to-back bogeys, then triple-bogeyed the sixth after he drove his tee ball out of bounds. Woods finished 4-over on the round and is 11 strokes back.

"It's hard to judge where the wind is coming from. A couple shots, Robert (Gamez) and I both got completely fooled," Woods said. "One got beat straight down; one rode the wind and carried long. So it's tough when it's swirling like this. It's hard to get committed over the shot, let alone pull the right club."

Woods may be out of contention, but several players lurk close behind Perry. With the weather expected to improve today, scores that were good enough Saturday will be good enough to drop players off the leaderboard.

Lee Janzen is two shots back. He holed two bunker shots on 15 and 17 on Saturday - for birdie on 15 and par on 17 - en route to a 1-under 71. With the conditions inflating scores, it was more than good enough for him.

"I knew it was tough out there and it could have been me. And it has been me on a number of occasions," he said. "I persevered."

Jose Maria Olazabal, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen are all five shots back.

Olazabal turned in the day's best performance, a 6-under 66. The effort was five shots shy of the tournament record and two shots back of the tournament's third-round record. The Spaniard said considering the conditions Saturday, the round was one of the best of his life - right next to a 61 at the 1990 World Series of Golf.

"The weather conditions (in 1990) were fantastic. Obviously, today, here it's a different story," Olazabal said. "And to shoot 66, I think it's really close to that 61."

Riding a hot streak

Kentuckian Kenny Perry (left) has been playing some of the best golf on the PGA Tour. A look at his last seven rounds - the four at the Colonial, which he won last week, and the first three at the Memorial, which he leads:

DatebirdiesParsbogeysscore
May 22510368
May 23413064
May 2499061
May 25314168
May 2989165
May 30414068
May 31314170

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E-mail rernst@enquirer.com




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