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Perry gets it right at Travelers

KENNY Perry proved he had learned a few lessons from his collapse at the US Masters two months ago by easing to a 3-shot victory at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, on Sunday.

The 48-year-old American kept his closest challengers at bay with a masterful display on the back nine at the TPC River Highlands, something he failed to do at Augusta National in the opening major of the season.

Perry led the US Masters by two shots with two holes to play before bogeys at 17 and 18 dropped him into a playoff with fellow American Chad Campbell and Argentina's Angel Cabrera.

His bid to become the oldest player to win a major ended when he hit a poor approach shot on the second extra hole, his bogey being trumped by Cabrera's par for victory.

"I learned a lot from that (Augusta), and I was determined to get back in that winner's circle again," the PGA Tour veteran said. "Everybody kind of asked about the Augusta hangover deal ... I guess I kind of shoved that aside a little bit, so this makes me feel pretty good."

Perry closed with a brilliant 7-under par 63 on Sunday, making four birdies after the turn to dash the hopes of his nearest rivals and notch his 14th PGA Tour victory.

"I was right on the button," Perry said. "My swing was there and I was able to carry it to the house."

His second victory of the season, following his triumph at the Phoenix Open in February, lifted him into fourth place in the all-time standings for PGA Tour wins above the age of 40. Fiji's Vijay Singh heads the list on 22 with Sam Snead (17) second, Willie MacFarlane (15) third and Perry (11) fourth.

Perry once jested he had targeted a career tally of 20 victories or more on the US circuit, but that goal is now looking achievable. "I'm making people think a little bit but still, six more wins is a lot of wins," he said. "But I won three last year and two this year already. Who knows?"

Perry takes home just over US$1 million with the victory, and has now won five times in just over a year, the most of any player on tour.

He has 12 top-10 finishes over that span while making every cut. His 258 is tied for fourth-best 72-hole score in Tour history. It beats the old tournament record of 259 set by Tim Norris is 1982.

The 48-year old Perry, who led after each of the first two rounds, trailed by a stroke to Paul Goydos heading into Sunday.

Goydos made a 20-foot eagle putt from the fringe on 15 and birdied 16. But he missed his birdie putt on 17 to the right. Perry birdied 15, and put the tournament away by making birdie on 17 after hitting a 164 yard approach to within 8 feet. Goydos said he felt he needed to shoot a 63 to win the tournament, but didn't start playing well until the 15th hole.

"I don't want to run and hide from that," he said. "He played like a guy who's won 14 times. I played more like a guy who's won twice, especially early in the round."

In Munich, Nick Dougherty shot a final round 64 to win the BMW International Open by one stroke and claim the third European Tour victory of his career.

The 27-year-old Englishman finished with a 22-under total of 266, beating Rafa Echenique by a stroke after the Argentine produced an albatross two at the par five 18th to complete his 10 under 62.

Overnight leader Retief Goosen of South Africa finished third, four strokes behind Dougherty, after a final round of 71 at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.


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