Kenny Perry hopes to stay driven for success
Kenny Perry, who has been crushing the ball this season, had his driver break and will use a new one during this week’s Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
Seattle Times staff
SNOQUALMIE — Not much has gone wrong this year for Kenny Perry.
He is dominating the Champions Tour points list after wins in two majors, the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior Players Championship, and finishing in the top 10 in nine of 13 events.
And he was happy arriving to “one of my favorite places in the world” this week for the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
But things went sour Tuesday when he got to the driving range and pulled out his driver.
“I pulled my clubs out and Delta broke my driver, the one I won all of my tournaments with this year,” Perry said. “It broke the head right off the shaft. I’m very upset at this point.
“I represent Southwest Airlines and it’s in a Southwest (bag), and I flew Delta out here from New York and they snapped my driver. I’m pretty bummed out.”
How the driver broke remains a mystery, but Perry is sure of one thing: driving the ball has been the biggest reason behind his great success this year.
“I’ve been bombing it,” said Perry, 53, who has tied for fifth and tied for 21st in his two appearances in this event, which begins Friday. “I’ve been taking advantage of all the short holes and the par-5s. But that’s the only driver I’ve used all year.”
Perry quickly got it reshafted and was getting set to take it on the course to test it.
“But shafts don’t duplicate,” he said “As much as they say they’re the same, they’re not the same. So now I have to get my confidence back off the tee because that’s been my bread and butter this year.”
Perry said the course sets up well for him because it’s open and it sets up well for a long hitter off the tee like himself.
“It hits into my strength as a driver, but if my driver isn’t any good, I’m going to be in trouble this week,” he said.
• Tom Byrum, John Harris, Doug Garwood and James Mason earned berths into the field in the one-day qualifier at Druid’s Glen Golf Course in Kent. Byrum shot a 4-under 68, Harris shot a 70, Garwood a 71 and Mason survived a seven-man playoff for the final spot after a 72.
• Tournament activities Tuesday were capped by the pairings party at CenturyLink Field for the two-day Korean Air Pro-Am that starts Wednesday. At the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, Bobby Clampett conducted the Emirates Youth Clinic and the fourth-annual adaptive golf clinic for people with disabilities.
• Loren Roberts, the 2009 Boeing Class champion, withdrew Tuesday.
• Blaine McCallister, one of Fred Couples’ college roommates at the University of Houston, is in the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption. Their roommate was Jim Nantz, future CBS broadcaster. In the dorm room, Nantz did practice interviews in which Couples pretended to have won the Masters. In 1992 at Augusta, there was nothing “pretend” about the interview — Couples won the Masters and Nantz interviewed him.
• The average age of the winner in the eight previous Boeing Classics has been 53. The oldest winner was Tom Kite when he won the tournament for the second time in 2008 at age 58. The youngest winner was Mark Calcavecchia at age 51 in 2011.
Freelancer Craig Smith contributed to this report