It would raise the decibel level at the Ryder Cup a couple of notches if veteran Kenny Perry continues his hot play and makes the U.S. team. That's because Perry is the pride of Franklin, Ky. -- where he owns a public golf course -- and Kentuckians love their own. His ovation on the first tee at Valhalla, in Louisville, might not be louder than what Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke got when the last Ryder Cup was played in Ireland, but it might be close.
The Ryder Cup is on his mind, and even if it wasn't, well, you could count on us media types to remind him. After Perry shot 66 Thursday morning to take the early Memorial lead, he talked about his Ryder Cup outlook. "I read the paper this morning, Paul (Azinger) says if you don't win, you're not getting on the team," Perry said. "So that kind of bummed me out a little. So that hurt me, losing that playoff in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. I've got to play consistent, keep making points, and if I don't win, figure out a way to get in the top eight so I earn my way onto the squad."
Perry on top of the leaderboard here in Dublin, Ohio, is no surprise. He won here in '91, sparked by a round of 63 that included a hole-in-one at the 16th, and won again in 2003. He's got a comfort level here that is pretty high.
He was also excited about Thursday's perfect conditions. "I said before, it's the best condition I've ever seen the golf course. Best weather I've seen here. Just the best of everything."
Don't worry, Kenny. It's the Memorial. Thundershowers are in Friday's forecast.
(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)