Saturday, April 11
Can Kenny Perry Continue Masters Magic?
Kenny Perry at the 2008 Ryder Cup. (Proforged/Flickr)
“BUT DAD HAS ALWAYS SAID, ‘You need to win that Green Jacket,’” Kenny Perry said, laughing, on Friday evening.
Tonight, the 48-year-old Kentuckian is just 18 holes away from completing another golf fairy tale, an encore to his magical 2008 Ryder Cup season. A victory on Sunday would also put Perry in the record books as the oldest Masters and major winner.
Perry shares the 54-hole lead of 11 under with U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera. Playing in the final pairing, Perry (70) was steady on Saturday while co-leader Chad Campbell (72) sputtered on the final holes.
Cabrera, who moved up the leaderboard with a 69, could pull off another final-round upset like he did when he edged Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk in the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Only it wouldn’t really be an upset.
Cabrera is a streaky player who has proved himself on the majors stage. And a Cabrera victory would be sweet justice 41 years after fellow countryman Roberto DeVicenzo signed an incorrect Masters scorecard and lost in a playoff the following day to Bob Goalby.
The cast of pursuers is deep. Chad Campbell, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Rory Sabbatini, Tim Clark, Shingo Katayama and Todd Hamilton are within six or fewer shots of the lead. Plus, there are the four-unders, including Tiger and Phil Mickelson.
If Tiger or Phil somehow win another Green Jacket, two things will have happened. One, Tiger or Phil will have posted a final round in the mid 60s. Two, a bunch of players will have choked. I’m not seeing it. They’re too far back. I might add I’ve been wrong many times, especially when it comes to Mr. Woods.
Something under par in the final pairing of Perry and Cabrera should get it done. It won’t be easy, though. It never is.
One final thought: Keep an eye on Furyk.
−The Armchair Golfer