SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kenny Perry had always dreamed of making a long putt to win a tournament.
Now he’s done it.
Perry made a 22-foot birdie putt to beat Charley Hoffman on the third playoff hole of the FBR Open on Sunday, his 13th PGA Tour victory and perhaps one of the most exhilarating.
“That’s probably the first putt I’ve ever made to win,” Perry said. “Those are the putts you think about when you’re a kid. You’re on the putting green saying, ‘This is to win the Masters, or whatever,’ and I finally made one. It took me a long time to do it.”
Perry closed with a 2-under 69 to match Hoffman (67) at 14-under 270. The 48-year-old from Kentucky, who won three times last year and played on the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team, also held off Kevin Na (68), who finished third at 13 under.
Na rallied from six strokes back, but barely missed an 8-foot putt on the 18th hole that would have put him in the playoff.
Perry moved one step closer to his goal of 20 career victories.
“I set a goal out there that’s probably unrealistic and unreachable, but yet here I am,” Perry said. “I’m only seven away now, not eight.”
At 48, Perry became the oldest player to win the event. Julius Boros was 46 when he won in 1967.
“It feels kind of funny playing with all these young kids nowadays,” Perry said. “But to me, this was a place I felt like I could always win.”
In the playoff, Perry and Hoffman bogeyed and parred the first two extra holes at TPC Scottsdale. Perry then rolled in the long putt on the 332-yard, par-4 17th to end the second straight playoff in the event.
“Kenny gave me a few opportunities, I gave him a few opportunities, and he happened to close the door,” said Hoffman, whose one PGA Tour victory came at the 2007 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Perry, who had played steadily on a sunny, 72-degree afternoon, seemed likely to win in regulation.
Leading by a stroke, all he needed was a par on the 18th, a hole he birdied twice and parred once this week. But he drove into a fairway bunker and had to settle for a bogey.
Perry didn’t panic. He said it reminded him of his victory in last year’s John Deere Classic, when he bogeyed the final hole to lose the lead, then won a playoff over Jay Williamson and Brad Adamonis.
“Same kind of deal,” Perry said. “At least I had that to kind of draw upon.”
The playoff opened at the 438-yard, par-4 18th, and Hoffman and Perry drove into bunkers and settled for bogeys. The playoff moved to the 403-yard, par-4 10th, where both players parred, and the playoff dragged on to the 17th.
That was where, in regulation, Perry had taken a short-lived one-shot lead with a birdie about an hour earlier.
This time, Perry drove to the right of the green, then chipped to about 22 feet.
Hoffman buried his tee shot in a bunker and somehow chipped to the fringe before two-putting for par. That left open the door for Perry, who calmly rolled in the winner in front of a gallery that had dwindled as spectators left to watch the Super Bowl.
“The playoff was ugly,” Perry said. “We were hitting it everywhere, having to scramble from all over the place.”
Perry earned $1.08 million for the victory.
“Pretty exciting,” he said. “Pretty nice way to win one.”