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Perry Is Simply Thriving

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From Associated Press

Exhausted from the best two weeks of his career, Kenny Perry settled into a chair next to tournament host Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 majors and 73 victories on the PGA Tour.

“I don’t know how you did it,” Perry told him.

Perry certainly can’t explain his own exploits, the latest coming Sunday in the Memorial at Dublin, Ohio, when he ran away from the field then almost ran out of gas, closing with a par 72 for a two-stroke victory over Lee Janzen.

It was the first time in his career that the 42-year-old Perry has won more than once in a season -- back-to-back, no less, at two of the most prestigious stops on the PGA Tour.

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He dismantled the field at Hogan’s Alley.

Then he buried an even stronger collection of players on the course Nicklaus built.

“This is the time of my life,” Perry said. “I’ve never played golf like this.”

One week after a record-setting victory at Colonial, Perry played great golf for nine holes to build a five-stroke lead at Muirfield Village, and three straight bogeys at the end only made it look close.

The runner-up was Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open champion. Masters champion Mike Weir shot 65 and finished third. Another shot behind were Tiger Woods, winner of eight majors, and Vijay Singh, winner of two majors.

“We had a strong field,” Perry said. “That excites me to beat the best.”

Perry joined Nicklaus, Woods, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin as the only multiple winners at the Memorial. He also won in 1991.

Woods, a three-time winner at Muirfield Village, had four birdies and an eagle on the back nine and closed with a seven-under 65. He tied for fourth in his final tournament before the U.S. Open.

But no one was going to catch Perry.

He pulled away with four birdies on the front nine and stretched his lead to as many as six shots. Janzen didn’t get close until the end.

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Jim Ahern shot a three-under 69 to complete a wire-to-wire win in the Champions Tour’s Music City Championship at Nashville. It was only the third victory of his professional career.

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He set the tournament record with a 20-under 196 over 54 holes, two strokes better than Isao Aoki in 1998 and Hale Irwin in 2000.

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