The wind blew in the third round and made scoring much more difficult at the ACE Group Classic played at the Twin Eagles Golf Club’s Talon Course but still Perry’s only fear in the final round was not getting to 20-under.
He hit a somewhat wayward drive at the last but still had six shots to play with.
“I really wanted that [final] putt,” Perry after taking his second Champions Tour title. “I really wanted to shoot 20 under. I didn’t want to fall back to 19 like I did at Colonial one year. I had a seven-stroke lead coming in and I doubled and I went from 21 to 19. I said, ‘I ain’t doing that this week.’ So, I was able to get that putt in. Ecstatic. It’s a great win for me.”
Perry, a 14-time winner on the PGA TOUR, birdied three of his first eight holes, and no one ever got closer than four shots after that.
Perry finished with a 70 to beat second placegetter Bernhard Langer (70) by five strokes, tying Allen Doyle’s 1999 tournament mark for the largest margin of victory.
In the process he also claimed 24 birdies, two short of the tour record for a 54-hole event. Perry’s bogey on the final hole dropped him into a tie with Langer for the tournament scoring record that Langer set last year at The Quarry.
Australia’s Peter Senior had one of his “worst” finishes for a while, with his 5-under total putting him at T28. Or put another way, he finished in the top 30 and had a very consistent tournament with rounds of 70, 70 and 71.
The next Champions Tour event is the Toshiba Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club in California from March 16 – 18.