Kenny Perry
Kenny Perry
Personal information
Full nameJames Kenneth Perry
Born (1960-08-10) August 10, 1960 (age 63)
Elizabethtown, Kentucky, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
Sporting nationality United States
ResidenceFranklin, Kentucky
SpouseSandy Perry
ChildrenLesslye, Justin, Lindsey
CollegeWestern Kentucky University
Turned professional1982
Current tour(s)PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins27
Highest ranking4 (June 28, 2009)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour14
PGA Tour Champions10
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT2: 2009
PGA Championship2nd: 1996
U.S. OpenT3: 2003
The Open ChampionshipT8: 2003
Achievements and awards
Payne Stewart Award2009
Charles Schwab Cup2013
Jack Nicklaus Trophy
(Champions Tour
Player of the Year)

James Kenneth Perry (born August 10, 1960) is an American professional golfer who currently plays on the PGA Tour Champions. He won 14 PGA Tour events and has won nine PGA Tour Champions events including four senior major championships: the 2013 Constellation Senior Players Championship, the 2013 U.S. Senior Open, the 2014 Regions Tradition, and the 2017 U.S. Senior Open.

Early years

Perry was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and raised in Franklin, Kentucky. His parents are Ken and Mildred Perry. He was introduced to the game of golf by his father at the age of seven.[2] He started his high school golf career at Franklin-Simpson High School. Shortly thereafter, his father accepted a job opportunity in McCracken County a few miles outside Paducah, Kentucky. Kenny attended high school and played on the golf team at McCracken County's Lone Oak High School, near Paducah. After graduating from Lone Oak, he attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

Personal life

Perry has three children (Lesslye (Harris), Justin and Lindsey) with his wife, Sandy Perry. His son Justin played on Western Kentucky University's golf team, and has also caddied for his father on several occasions. His mother, Mildred, died on October 1, 2009, at the age of 79 at her home in Franklin while under Hospice care after a long battle with multiple myeloma a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.[2] Perry is a member and deacon of Franklin Church of Christ in Franklin, Kentucky.[3]

Professional career

Perry turned professional in 1982. He failed in his first two attempts to qualify for the PGA Tour at Q-school. He missed by 1 stroke one year and received word that his wife had gone into labor during the fourth round the next year. He had been sponsored by a group of about twenty individuals, many local citizens from Franklin, in his early play on the mini-tours and his first two attempts at Q-school. In 1985, a Franklin businessman and David Lipscomb University (now simply Lipscomb University) graduate lent him $5000 for a last shot at Q-school. Rather than repay the loan, he was asked to give a percentage of his tour earnings to Lipscomb if he qualified. He tied for 40th at Q-school, earning his card with a two-shot cushion. Perry and his benefactor agreed on 5 percent, and he has maintained that commitment to Lipscomb ever since in the form of a scholarship for residents of Simpson County, Kentucky.

In Perry's first few seasons, he struggled to retain his qualification status. He made his first big (for the time) check on the PGA Tour ($55,000) with a T-4 finish at the Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational in May 1987. Shortly after that tournament, Perry repaid all of the money put up by all of his original sponsors, even though he had no legal obligation to do so. Perry got his first win in 1991 at the Memorial Tournament. Two more wins followed in the mid 1990s, another in 2001, and three victories in 2003.

In 1996, Perry was in contention at the PGA Championship held at Valhalla in his native Kentucky. He had a one shot lead on the last hole but took a bogey and proceeded to be beaten in the playoff by Mark Brooks.[4] Perry played in the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. On the first day, Perry played in an afternoon foursome with Stewart Cink and they lost to Sergio García and Luke Donald (2 & 1). On the third day, Perry played in a singles match and lost to Lee Westwood (1 up). Team Europe defeated Team USA 18½ to 9½.[5] In 2005, Perry won at the Bay Hill Invitational and the Bank of America Colonial. The following year, he became the 10th man to reach $20 million in PGA Tour career earnings in addition to taking an 8-week break from the tour to recover from knee surgery. He was in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for over 100 weeks from 2003 to 2005 and 2009 to 2010.[6]

Since returning from arthroscopic knee surgery in early 2006, Perry struggled to find the previous form he had from 2003 to 2005. However, in 2008, he had a steady start making 10 cuts in his first 11 tournaments, and beginning in the middle of May he had six top ten finishes in eight starts, including three victories in the Memorial Tournament, the Buick Open, and the John Deere Classic (in which he beat Jay Williamson and Brad Adamonis in a playoff).[7] He received some criticism for skipping major championships in 2008 in order to concentrate on qualifying for the Ryder Cup team. He was eager to make the team as the event was being held in his native Kentucky, and he helped the USA win the cup for the first time since 1999.[8]

Perry played in the 2008 Ryder Cup at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. On the first day, Perry played a morning foursome with Jim Furyk and they halved the match with Sergio García and Lee Westwood. On the second day, Perry played a morning foursome with Furyk and they defeated Pádraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson (3 & 1). Also on day two, Perry played an afternoon fourball with Furyk and they lost to Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell (1 up). On the third day, Perry played in a singles match and defeated Henrik Stenson (3 & 2). Team USA defeated Team Europe 16½ to 11½.[9]

Despite rumors that he would retire following Team USA's Ryder Cup victory, Perry confirmed at the start of the 2009 PGA Tour season that he hoped to win at least eight more tournaments, which would take his career total to 20.[10] Twenty wins ensures a lifetime PGA Tour membership.

Perry won his first event in 2009 in his third start at the FBR Open, where he defeated Charley Hoffman on the third playoff hole with a birdie.[11] It was his 13th career tour win. He maintained a rich vein of form throughout the first few months of the 2009 season, making ten cuts in ten events and registering five top-10 finishes during this streak.

In April 2009, Perry was the 54-hole co-leader at The Masters and held the lead by two strokes with two holes to go. However, he recorded two straight bogeys, after failing to find the green in regulation at both the 17th and 18th holes. This resulted in a sudden-death playoff with Ángel Cabrera and Chad Campbell. Perry made par on the first extra hole, to match Cabrera, but Campbell was eliminated after he made bogey. At the second extra hole, Perry missed the green from the middle of the fairway and then ran his pitch well past the hole, resulting in a bogey. Cabrera then won the playoff and the tournament with a par. Perry would have become the oldest winner of The Masters at 48 years old, 8 months, and 2 days. He received over 700 letters and emails in the aftermath of his playoff defeat, including a note from former President George W. Bush.[12]

Perry won his second event of 2009 at the Travelers Championship in June, coming from one stroke behind Paul Goydos. Perry shot a final round 63 and won his 14th tour event, one win closer to his goal of 20 career wins.[13] He won the event by three strokes over Goydos and fellow American David Toms. With the win he moved into a career high spot of four at the Official World Golf Ranking.[14] Perry is among the winningest and highest all-time PGA Tour money winners without a major championship, with fourteen wins and career earnings of over $32 million. His best major finishes are playoff losses at the 1996 PGA Championship and 2009 Masters Tournament. For his success in leading the US to victory in the Ryder Cup, he and fellow Kentuckian J. B. Holmes were named Kentuckians of the Year for 2008 by Kentucky Monthly magazine. He is good friends with former World Number 1 player Vijay Singh, who calls him "Biggie".[15]

Perry began playing on the Champions Tour after turning 50 in August 2010 while continuing to play on the PGA Tour. He won his first event in October 2011 at the SAS Championship. He nearly withdrew from the event after learning of his sister's death.[16] In 2011, Perry split his time between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. He finished 15th on the Champions Tour money list playing in ten events. Although his focus was on the Champions Tour, he also had status on the PGA Tour until 2014 due to multiple wins in 2008 and 2009.

Perry won for the second time on the Champions Tour early in 2012 at the ACE Group Classic. He shot rounds of 64 and 62 on the first two days to break the 36 hole scoring record on the Champions Tour and after ending with a 2 under par round of 70, he tied the overall tournament scoring record at 20 under par.

Perry was given a special invitation from the PGA of America to compete in the 2014 PGA Championship, held in his home state of Kentucky and site of his 1996 playoff loss; he finished T27.

In 2015, he used a one-time exemption for being the top 25 of the career money list. He said he intended to play 18 events on the PGA Tour and only about seven on the Champions Tour, mainly the major tournaments.[17]


In 1993, Perry was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame.[18] In 1994, he was inducted in the Western Kentucky University Hall of Fame.[19] He was named the winner of the 2002 Charles Bartlett Award, given to a professional golfer for his unselfish contributions to the betterment of society, by the Golf Writers Association of America. In 2007, Perry was inducted into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni.[20] On October 14, 2008, Perry was inducted into Lipscomb University's Athletics Hall of Fame.[21] He won the 2009 Payne Stewart Award.

On November 3, 2013, Perry clinched the 2013 Charles Schwab Cup. He was also named 2013 Champions Tour Player of the Year.[22]

Professional wins (27)

PGA Tour wins (14)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 May 19, 1991 Memorial Tournament −15 (70-63-69-71=273) Playoff United States Hale Irwin
2 Jul 24, 1994 New England Classic −16 (67-66-70-65=268) 1 stroke Northern Ireland David Feherty
3 Feb 19, 1995 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic −25 (63-71-64-67-70=335) 1 stroke United States David Duval
4 Aug 12, 2001 Buick Open −25 (66-64-64-69=263) 2 strokes United States Chris DiMarco, United States Jim Furyk
5 May 25, 2003 Bank of America Colonial −19 (68-64-61-68=261) 6 strokes United States Justin Leonard
6 Jun 1, 2003 Memorial Tournament (2) −13 (65-68-70-72=275) 2 strokes United States Lee Janzen
7 Jul 13, 2003 Greater Milwaukee Open −12 (69-67-66-66=268) 1 stroke Australia Stephen Allan, United States Heath Slocum
8 Mar 20, 2005 Bay Hill Invitational −12 (70-68-68-70=276) 2 strokes Northern Ireland Graeme McDowell, Fiji Vijay Singh
9 May 22, 2005 Bank of America Colonial (2) −19 (65-63-64-69=261) 7 strokes United States Billy Mayfair
10 Jun 1, 2008 Memorial Tournament (3) −8 (66-71-74-69=280) 2 strokes Australia Mathew Goggin, United States Jerry Kelly,
England Justin Rose, Canada Mike Weir
11 Jun 29, 2008 Buick Open (2) −19 (69-67-67-66=269) 1 stroke United States Woody Austin, United States Bubba Watson
12 Jul 13, 2008 John Deere Classic −16 (65-66-67-70=268) Playoff United States Brad Adamonis, United States Jay Williamson
13 Feb 1, 2009 FBR Open −14 (72-63-66-69=270) Playoff United States Charley Hoffman
14 Jun 28, 2009 Travelers Championship −22 (61-68-66-63=258) 3 strokes United States Paul Goydos, United States David Toms

PGA Tour playoff record (3–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1991 Memorial Tournament United States Hale Irwin Won with birdie on first extra hole
2 1996 PGA Championship United States Mark Brooks Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2008 AT&T Classic Japan Ryuji Imada Lost to par on first extra hole
4 2008 John Deere Classic United States Brad Adamonis, United States Jay Williamson Won with par on first extra hole
5 2009 FBR Open United States Charley Hoffman Won with birdie on third extra hole
6 2009 Masters Tournament Argentina Ángel Cabrera, United States Chad Campbell Cabrera won with par on second extra hole
Campbell eliminated by par on first hole

Other wins (3)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Nov 13, 2005 Franklin Templeton Shootout
(with United States John Huston)
−30 (64-63-59=186) 1 stroke United States Fred Couples and Australia Adam Scott
2 Dec 14, 2008 Merrill Lynch Shootout (2)
(with United States Scott Hoch)
−31 (65-60-60=185) 4 strokes United States J. B. Holmes and United States Boo Weekley
3 Dec 9, 2012 Franklin Templeton Shootout (3)
(with United States Sean O'Hair)
−31 (64-61-60=185) 1 stroke United States Charles Howell III and South Africa Rory Sabbatini

PGA Tour Champions wins (10)

PGA Tour Champions major championships (4)
Other PGA Tour Champions (6)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Oct 2, 2011 SAS Championship −11 (66-69-70=205) 1 stroke United States John Huston, United States Jeff Sluman
2 Feb 19, 2012 ACE Group Classic −20 (64-62-70=196) 5 strokes Germany Bernhard Langer
3 Jun 30, 2013 Constellation Senior Players Championship −19 (71-63-63-64=261) 2 strokes United States Fred Couples, United States Duffy Waldorf
4 Jul 14, 2013 U.S. Senior Open −13 (67-73-64-63=267) 5 strokes United States Fred Funk
5 Oct 27, 2013 AT&T Championship −13 (65-71-67=203) Playoff Germany Bernhard Langer
6 May 18, 2014 Regions Tradition −7 (72-68-69-72=281) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia
7 Aug 3, 2014 3M Championship −23 (65-63-65=193) 1 stroke Germany Bernhard Langer
8 Aug 2, 2015 3M Championship (2) −18 (69-61-68=198) 4 strokes United States Scott Dunlap, Germany Bernhard Langer,
United States Kevin Sutherland
9 Jul 2, 2017 U.S. Senior Open (2) −16 (65-64-67-68=264) 2 strokes United States Kirk Triplett
10 Aug 5, 2018 3M Championship (3) −21 (66-60-69=195) 3 strokes United States Wes Short Jr.

PGA Tour Champions playoff record (1–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2011 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
(with United States Scott Hoch)
United States David Eger and Republic of Ireland Mark McNulty Lost to par on second extra hole
2 2013 Montreal Championship Mexico Esteban Toledo Lost to birdie on third extra hole
3 2013 AT&T Championship Germany Bernhard Langer Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 2015 Insperity Invitational United States Tom Lehman, Wales Ian Woosnam Woosnam won with birdie on first extra hole
5 2020 Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge United States Shane Bertsch, United States Glen Day,
Germany Bernhard Langer
Bertsch won with eagle on first extra hole

Results in major championships

Tournament 1988 1989
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open T54
The Open Championship
PGA Championship T51
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT T12 CUT CUT
U.S. Open T25 CUT T50 CUT
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship T49 77 T55 T49 2 T23 T10 T34
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament CUT T39 CUT T29 T2
U.S. Open T45 T3 CUT T23 58 44
The Open Championship T8 T16 T11 CUT T52
PGA Championship T30 T44 T29 T10 CUT T23 T49 T23 WD T43
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament T26
U.S. Open T33 T28 CUT
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship CUT T27
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
WD = Withdrew


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 1 0 1 1 2 10 5
U.S. Open 0 0 1 1 1 3 14 10
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 4
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 3 6 21 18
Totals 0 2 1 3 6 14 52 37
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (twice)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (2003 U.S. Open – 2003 PGA)

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 1988 1989
The Players Championship 33 T21
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
The Players Championship T56 T57 WD T65 T62 T55 T4 CUT CUT WD
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
The Players Championship T27 T18 T60 T32 T3 CUT T58 T15 T22
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
The Players Championship T22 T39 CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships

Tournament 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Match Play R64 R64 R64 R16 R32 R64 R64 R64
Championship NT1 22 T28 T32 T9 T45
Invitational T24 T53 T27 T6 T27 T11 T66 T11 T19

1Cancelled due to 9/11

  Top 10
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
NT = No tournament
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Senior major championships

Wins (4)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
2013 Constellation Senior Players Championship 2 shot deficit −19 (71-63-63-64=261) 2 strokes United States Fred Couples, United States Duffy Waldorf
2013 U.S. Senior Open 2 shot deficit −13 (67-73-64-63=267) 5 strokes United States Fred Funk
2014 Regions Tradition 1 shot lead −7 (72-68-69-72=281) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia
2017 U.S. Senior Open (2) 1 shot deficit −16 (65-64-67-68=264) 2 strokes United States Kirk Triplett

Results timeline

Results not in chronological order before 2022.

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
The Tradition T5 T13 T15 1 T5 T23 T20 T13 WD NT T56 T28
Senior PGA Championship T22 9 T2 T13 T22 T33 T38 NT T16 T45
U.S. Senior Open CUT 1 T14 T12 WD 1 T40 WD NT CUT T60
Senior Players Championship T13 T8 1 4 T34 T13 T26 T6 T7 T19 T49 T23
Senior British Open Championship T32 NT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
NT = No tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic

U.S. national team appearances


See also


  1. ^ "Week 26 2009 Ending 28 Jun 2009" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Ferguson, Doug (October 2, 2009). "Kenny Perry's mother dies of cancer". USA Today. Associated Press.
  3. ^ "Home ‹ Franklin Church of Christ".
  4. ^ Dorman, Larry (August 12, 1996). "Birdies Bring Brooks His First Major". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Ryder Cup 2004". Ryder Cup. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking". Official World Golf Ranking. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 17, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "PGA Tour Season results – Kenny Perry". PGA Tour. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  8. ^ Kelley, Brent (August 7, 2008). "Kenny Perry Withdraws from PGA Championship". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "2008 Ryder Cup - Scoring". Ryder Cup. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "Perry's next PGA Tour goal? Getting to 20-win mark". PGA Tour. January 8, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "Perry holds nerve to win play-off". BBC Sport. February 2, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  12. ^ Fortus, Bob (April 21, 2009). "Masters runner-up Kenny Perry buoyed by support as he comes to Zurich Classic of New Orleans". The Times-Picayune.
  13. ^ "Perry seals win in Connecticut". BBC Sport. June 28, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  14. ^ "Week 26 – Kenny Perry Claims Career Best 4th Spot in the Official World Golf Ranking with Victory at the Travelers Championship". Official World Golf Ranking. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013.
  15. ^ Potter, Jerry (March 21, 2005). "Singh, Perry: Opposites are pals". USA Today.
  16. ^ "Perry wins first Champions Tour title". PGA Tour. October 2, 2011.
  17. ^ "Kenny Perry, 54, prepares for PGA Tour return". Golfweek. January 13, 2015.
  18. ^ "Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame profile" (PDF). Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "WKU Athletic Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  20. ^ "Mr. Kenny Perry (Inducted in 2007)". Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  21. ^ "Kenny Perry, Ronnie Ferguson inducted into Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  22. ^ "Perry named Player of the Year after winning back-to-back major titles". PGA Tour. December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.

External links