After all the talk last week about how Muirfield Village was playing U.S. Open-tough, the Memorial’s winner—Kenny Perry—bowed out of the actual U.S. Open. Or at least trying to qualify for it.
“I don’t do 36 holes ever,” Perry said of the format for the Open’s sectional qualifying, which concludes today. “It just wears me out. I’m not physically capable of being—it ruins too many weeks. It ruins my next week and it ruins trying to prepare that week for the tournament. It takes too much out of me.”
C’mon, Kenny. So you’re 47. (Hale Irwin was 45 when he won the U.S. Open in 1990.) So 36 holes is a lot for one day. (Fat guys in Myrtle Beach play 36 on a diet of hot wings and three hours sleep.) So Open qualifiers are about as much fun as an ingrown toenail. (Hey, try mining coal for a living. Or removing ingrown toenails.) So your track record at Torrey Pines is undistinguished. (Play like you did last week and that wouldn’t matter.)
Perry is the Tour’s Frank Ricard: a streaker. When he gets hot, he crackles. He makes birdies like they're pars. “That's just the way I play for some reason,” Perry said last week. “And dad's always told me, ‘Ride that train when it's hot, keep chasing it. Don't go home.’ ”
Even if a 36-hole qualifier gets in your way. Instead Perry will play Memphis this week and Hartford in two weeks, taking the U.S. Open week off in between. An odd stop for a hot train. Photo: Kenny Perry with Jack Nicklaus on Sunday. (Todd Bigelow/SI)