FT Shootout winners Kenny Perry, Sean O'Hair
Winners talk about the tournament.
Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo
Kenny Perry, a car aficionado, likens himself to a 1966 Chevy Impala convertible, cruising down the highway with the top down. Playing partner Sean O'Hair is more like a high-performance sports car.
"I'm slowing down; he's speeding up," Perry said.
Perry's laidback-edness and O'Hair's firepower worked well Sunday. The two didn't lap the field, but were in control most of the way, and won the Franklin Templeton Shootout by a shot at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
Perry and O'Hair avoided any pileups as a handful of teams tried to pass them. They were briefly tied once, but O'Hair sank a birdie putt at No. 15 to restore the lead over Rory Sabbatini and Charles Howell III, and the two won by a stroke at 31-under 185.
Starting the day with a two-shot lead in the scramble format, Perry and O'Hair knew they would have to hit the gas, and they birdied the first three holes to add a stroke to their lead. They came back to the field a bit with pars on four of their next six holes, but pulled away with their second straight 29 on the back nine.
"I knew they were going to probably catch up to us at some point, but I knew
we had holes to catch back up to them," Perry said. "You can't really get too far ahead of yourself out there in that field. You just kind of play each hole."
Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh finished third at 28 under.
Perry and O'Hair became the seventh second-round leaders to go on to win the tournament in the last 12 years. While other teams were making charges at them, and sometimes briefly catching them, they had fewer holes left to play than Perry and O'Hair.
Perry joins Steve Elkington, Fred Couples, Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron with three Shootout wins; Elkington and Couples also won with three different partners.
It's also Perry's third Shootout win, and his second victory in a tournament in Naples in 10 months; he won the Champions Tour's ACE Group Classic in February at TwinEagles Golf Club.
"They're calling me the mayor now, so I'm the mayor of this place," he joked. "I just have great feelings when I come to Naples. ... It's just a neat place to come and hang out."
And slow down? Maybe off the golf course.
Perry, 52, became the oldest player to win the Shootout, and also won for the third time with the third different partner. He won with John Huston in 2005 and Scott Hoch in 2008.
"All three have been different," Perry said of his Shootout victories. "John and I were pretty even partners, and then the year Scott and I won, I played fantastic that week. It was like Scott wouldn't even hit his tee shot. I would hit the tee shot first and he wouldn't even hit it. We would just walk out to the ball. This year, my roles have been reversed, and I was complementing Sean."
O'Hair's car role has been reversed. He's had his share of sports cars, but now owns a Dodge pickup.
"It's comfortable," he said. "If somebody gets in my way, I can just run over them."
"He can haul all of the baby things," Perry chimed in. "With four kids, he's got a lot of stuff."
If O'Hair gets the urge to go fast again, though, he knows where to go.
"I love what he does with cars," O'Hair said. "It's not just having a car. I've had a lot of sports cars. But it's taking a car, building it and doing all the work yourself. ... So when he's ready ...
"I've got one you can buy," Perry said.
"When he's ready to give one away, I'll give him a call," O'Hair said.