LOUISVILLE – Kenny Perry entered the scoring area Friday at the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club with a round of high-fives for his family.
The Franklin resident was just inside the projected cut after a 2-under 69 on Friday – putting him at 1 under for the tournament – but it nearly guaranteed he’d move on to play the weekend, which is all he wanted.
Perry’s spot in the final two rounds won’t be official until play is completed this evening, but the cut looks like it will be even-par or 1-under-par. Perry benefited from a morning tee time after a heavy rain, which he said actually helped his game and softened some of his shots.
Here are Perry’s comments after his second round:
On his round: “I’m going to get to play on the weekend, which is a treat. It’s all I tried to do here this week, was to be able to play well enough to get to the weekend.”
Rain softening the greens: “They’ve got that sub-air system, and they can suck the moisture right out of these greens quick as it comes on them. I hit it better today. My irons were better. I hit some quality hybrid shots. I’m having to hit such long shots. I was watching Rory and Bubba behind me, where they were hitting it, and comparing it to where I was. I was like, ‘They’re playing a different golf course than what I’m playing.’ I’ve got to execute perfectly just to even survive out there. That’s a big golf course. I can’t get over how long that course is now. But I’m ecstatic. I get to play the weekend and play on my birthday now, so that’ll be neat.”
Conditions: “It was ugly early. It actually helped me, really. It softened up the golf course a little bit and allowed me – my flatter irons, it actually helped my iron shots into the green. I played nice. I had chances to shoot a really good round today. … I achieved my goal, to make the cut and play the weekend, so I’m pretty ecstatic. Here I am, I’ve played ’96 to now – a lot of emotions. A lot of support out there, a lot of love from the fans. I played my heart out.”
Thinking about making the cut: “I didn’t entertain that thought until I holed out the last putt, to tell you the truth. I didn’t want to go there. I figured the cut was going to be 1 under or even, and I was at 1 under. I knew I had to really play hard on that last hole. Thank goodness I was finishing on 9. (No. 18) has been hard on me in my career, so I liked finishing on 9 today.
Dealing with mud balls on the course: “I think as the golf course starts drying out a little bit, you’re going to get more and more of that. I had a lot of those on the front nine, which was my back nine. I think the guys going out this afternoon are going to have some problems and experience that.”
Nerves: “The first two rounds were pretty nerve-wracking. It was self-imposed, self-induced. I was just wanting to do well.”