|Kenny Perry walked off with the John Deere Classic title, his third win in five starts. (Kevin c. cox/Getty Images)|
Kenny Perry beat a pair of unheralded players with New England connections - Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson - in a playoff to win the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., and escape with his third victory in five starts after bogeying the 18th hole yesterday.
Perry had a one-stroke lead at 17 under par through 17 only to lose it thanks to some poor shots from the fringe on the final hole of regulation. He and Williamson then watched as Adamonis, the PGA Tour's oldest rookie at 35, missed an 18-foot putt for birdie that would have won it in regulation and given him his first victory.
The ball stopped 3 feet short and Adamonis was at 16-under 268 with the others.
"I know there was a chance to win," he said. "I was like, 'Wow, this is pretty awesome.' I didn't hit a very good putt, but maybe next time."
On the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, No. 18, Adamonis (of Cumberland, R.I.) and Williamson (Trinity College) both hit approach shots into the pond. Perry tapped in from 16 inches for par and the victory after his 24-footer stopped just short.
He picked the ball out of the cup and raised both arms, an ear-to-ear grin crossing his face.
He's enjoying the best stretch of his career and collected $756,000 with his 12th victory.
"I told my dad I was going to make the PGA Tour and win a tournament," Perry said. "My goal was never to be a superstar. I just wanted to make a living and support my kids."
Perry (1-under 70), Adamonis (70), and Williamson (69) were one stroke ahead of Charlie Wi (69), Will MacKenzie (70), and Eric Axley (69) after 72 holes.
Williamson earned an invitation to the British Open and, unlike Perry, accepted it.
Now second behind Tiger Woods in the
LPGA - Paula Creamer shot a 2-over 73 and did just enough to make a big lead stand, going wire-to-wire to win the Jamie Farr Owens
Creamer, who captured her seventh career win and her third this season, had worse scores every day after breaking the tournament record with an 11-under 60 in the first round. She followed that with a 65 and a 70 to finish at 16-under 268, two shots better than Nicole Castrale who closed fast with a 64.
The 21-year-old Californian saw her lead drop to a shot when rookie Shanshan Feng - the first exempt player from China to play on the LPGA Tour - pushed her with five birdies through the first 11 holes. But Feng had three straight bogeys down the stretch.
Eun-Hee Ji (72) was third at 271. Feng had a 69 for a total of 272, followed by Karrie Webb (70) at 273.
After the lead fell to one stroke, Creamer recovered with her only birdie of the round at the 13th hole - around the time Feng began her string of bogeys. After Creamer missed a 3-foot par putt at the 16th hole, she had safe, two-putt pars on the final two holes to clinch the victory.
Ahead by four shots to start the round, Creamer made the best of a bad situation on the first hole. Her drive on the short par-4 hole was in heavy, sodden rough near a trap. Rather than try to muscle a long iron to the green and run the risk of hitting into a wide creek, she punched out a few feet into the fairway. From there, she spun her approach off the front of the green and down the middle of a large hill. Her third shot barely stayed on the front edge - almost spinning back down to where she hit it. But then she made an uphill 15-foot putt to save bogey.
European - Graeme McDowell won the Scottish Open with three straight birdies on the back nine for a 3-under 68 and a two-stroke victory over James Kingston (66) at Loch Lomond GC in Luss.
Phil Mickelson had a 73 and finished 11 shots off the lead in a tie for 38th.
McDowell, a former star at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, trailed Simon Khan by two shots until Khan double bogeyed the 12th. McDowell then birdied the next three holes to move ahead and went on to win with a total of 13-under 271.