Golf: Kenny Perry Rides Hot Train to Memphis

by Jim Harris  on Monday, Jun. 2, 2008 2:26 pm  

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The field looks impressive for the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis this week, with several of the best international players competing, and a handful of the top Americans -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk aren't.

Leading the way for the U.S. players may be the hottest player of late, and this weekend's winner at The Memorial, Kenny Perry. Gary Van Sickle of Sports Illustrated profiles the 47-year-old Kentuckian, who will follow his dad's advice and ride this hot train on to the next PGA Tour stop -- Memphis. Perry's not in the U.S. Open field and didn't play to compete in a sectional qualifying today, where a significant portion of the Tour will be trying to earn the last remaining spots in next week's Open at Torrey Pines.

Perry just has his eyes on one major prize: landing a spot on the Ryder Cup team and playing before his home-state fans at Valhalla in Louisville in September.

When you're driving Interstate 65 south through Kentucky to Tennessee, just before you pass the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, you'll pass Kenny Perry's public-access golf course he built in his hometown of Franklin. We've always wished for the extra time to pull over and play the course once. Maybe on our next trip through the Bluegrass State.

Meanwhile, we can barely contain the excitement for the early rounds of the Stanford St. Jude, where will be on hand to cover the four days. The international superstar contingent includes Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington and, at last look, Vijay Singh. It's worth it just to sit in the stands behind the large practice tee and watch Singh work for hours, alternating between swinging his oversized heavy driver and then hitting his regular driver, precisely carving out 300-yard shots that sometimes look like they'll clear the high screen on the other side, near the public parking area.



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