ATLANTA (AP) — Kenny Perry has fallen from home-state hero to homesick in just a few days.
On Sunday, Perry was the toast of Kentucky, celebrating with his 84-year-old father after helping lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team to a victory over Europe in Louisville.
“It made my career,” he said.
It was a career high that is proving difficult to follow in the Tour Championship. Perry shot a 75 on Friday and was 11-over 151 after two rounds at East Lake.
As a sobering follow-up act to the euphoric giddiness of the Ryder Cup, Perry is 29th in the 30-man field.
“Horrible,” Perry said. “Worst experience of my life, just about.”
“I don’t want to be here,” Perry said after finishing Friday’s round with a double bogey-bogey. “It’s ruined my greatest week in my life, coming here. It really has.
“I don’t want to play golf. I want to go home. I want to go home and celebrate.”
Perry said his right shoulder is aching and he’s physically and mentally zapped. He said he even considered withdrawing.
“But I committed,” he said. “That would look real bad if I withdrew.”
Perry compared playing this week to a football team trying to play another game after winning the Super Bowl.
“I have no focus,” he said. “I don’t even care. I’m just trying to get my last-place check, post a 72-hole number and go home. I really am. This week has ruined my week, the week I geared up for my whole life. … It doesn’t make sense for me to be here this week.”
KIM AND POULTER: Anthony Kim says if he meant to bump Ian Poulter during the Ryder Cup, the Englishman would have felt it.
Poulter told British newspapers after the Ryder Cup that Kim lowered his shoulder and bumped him as Poulter walked off the tee in a Saturday afternoon fourballs match at Valhalla. Kim sat out that session and was following Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk, who lost on the 18th hole to Poulter and Graeme McDowell.
“That is pathetic,” Poulter told the Daily Express. “This is the Ryder Cup. It should be played in the right spirit and he should grow up.”
Asked for his version, Kim said he never saw Poulter.
“Kenny had hit a shot to about a foot-and-a-half, and I was going over there,” Kim said. “I wasn’t even paying attention, and I looked up, and Ian had just bounced off me. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t even see him, to be honest with you. Obviously, he took it pretty personally.
“Somebody said that I bumped him, and I said, ‘Listen, if I was going to bump somebody, you’re going to know I’m going to bump you.’ I wasn’t out there to bump anybody. That’s not the spirit of the Ryder Cup. I’m sorry he took it personally.”
EARLY CONGRATULATIONS: Vijay Singh only has to complete all four rounds at East Lake to clinch the FedEx Cup, so he has been accepting congratulations even while opening with rounds of 73 and 74.
“When I started off I was a little bit too overwhelmed with the situation I was in,” Singh said Friday. “Wherever you go, whatever I did yesterday, it was like people were congratulating me before the tournament even started.”
Singh, laughing, added “I want to get congratulated after the tournament. So that kind of plays a weird thing in your mind. I tried to keep focused. Two more days, see what I can do.”
MORE PRACTICE FOR ELS: Ernie Els completed his 73 with a par putt on No. 18, but a double bogey on No. 17 was one reason he walked straight to the practice green for more putting.
“I just had a bit of a rough day,” Els said. “I’m not putting as well as I did yesterday. My driving let me down a little bit. I hit in the water off the tee on 17 and I missed some other fairways which cost me some shots.
“I’m not too far away but it’s disappointing on a day like today when I could have scored well.”
When Els said he was not far away, he was referring to his game, not the leaderboard, where he was eight shots behind leader Anthony Kim.
“I kind of played myself into the toilet today,” Els said. “I’ve been working so hard on my game. I’m close on a lot of things. Today I kind of went backward a little bit. I’d like to move forward over the weekend and shoot some low scores.”
POP QUIZ: Perry wasn’t happy to be asked to submit to a drug test following his opening round on Thursday. Random drug testing is the rule on the PGA, but he said he thought he’d already filled his quota with a test earlier in the season.
“I know Dudley Hart, Briny Baird, Carl Pettersson, they’ve never been drug tested once and I’ve already been drug tested twice,” the 48-year-old Perry said. “I don’t understand it. I thought they’d do the whole tour, cycle itself around before we’d go for a second time. I didn’t realize I could be tested as many as 10 times in a year.”
Perry said he saw others, including Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard and Singh, who were tested a second time.