Vijay Singh keeps defying age with a storied fitness regime that keeps him as strong and as flexible at age 45 as any twentysomething. So what does Kenny Perry, the Tour's other ageless wonder, do to stay in championship form at 48?
Not much more than you or me, except for all the golf.
don't work out," Perry said Wednesday at the Mercedes-Benz Championship
in Maui, Hawaii, where he earned an invitation with his
three Tour wins in 2008. "I don't really watch what I eat. I just play
a lot of golf."
He credits genetics for his success late in his pro career, and a short game that, like some say about life, began at 40.
whatever reason my game came more to me [after 40]," Perry said. "My
short game came to me. Usually you lose your short game at 40. My
chipping is still not great, but the putter is what has really turned
my career around, I think, these last few years. I mean, I feel very
confident, very comfortable over the putts now."
Perry says he feels healthy and strong despite a trying offseason during which both his parents and his mother-in-law were hospitalized.
His mother's fighting cancer, his father has heart problems and his
mother-in-law hurt herself in a fall. You might remember his father,
Ken, during last year's Ryder Cup at Valhalla, wearing overalls and a
no-nonsense mien that told you everything you needed to know about the
hardscrabble roots of the victorious American team. Guys like Perry,
J.B. Holmes and Boo Weekley are more spittoon than silver spoon.
"If I can get my head back in the game and focus on my golf I'll be OK," Perry said. "There's a lot of issues right now."
reason for Perry's middle-age renaissance could be his optimism. At an
age where some guys are waiting for the easy money on the Champions
Tour, Perry is still hungry for more Tour wins. How many? Well, he has
12 now and 20 sounds like a nice number.
"Somehow I've got to win eight more times," Perry said. "I turn 50 in a year and a
half. And is that a realistic goal? I think it is. I still think I can
play well up into my mid-50s and be successful out here."
Perry's also staying young at heart. Did you know he has a myspace page? One of is friends his a guy from Lake Mary, Fla., named Camilo. Another is a singer named Justin. Maybe 40 is the new 20 after all.