Pro Golf Weekly

Kenny Perry Shares Lead at Seniors Players Championship

Kenny Perry and Mike Small carded matching 65s and share the lead after day one of the 2018 Constellation Seniors Players Championship at Exmoor Country Club.

Perry, a four-time senior major champion, signed for a card comprised of just one bogey offset by eight birdies, highlighted by five gains in a seven-hole stretch (Nos. 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11). The 57-year old Kentucky native cited his flatstick as the key to his round.

Kenny Perry Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship
Kenny Perry on the 18th green during the first round of the 2018 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois. Credit: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

“I actually made some putts today,” said Perry, when asked to review the highlights of his first round. “I didn’t make any — I’ve had a tough year this year. I’ve only probably played six events. Shoulder surgery kept me out the first four or five months of this year, and I’ve really had trouble starting the ol’ engines.

“Ball-striking has been pretty good, but I’ve been putting lousy. Today was a day where I made some putts.

“I made a couple 20-footers, and then I hit some really close shots, and was just very steady, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. I played this golf course the way it’s supposed to be played.”

The 52-year old Small, meanwhile, opened with three pars and closed with the same, but in between carded eight birdies (and one blemish) to sit alongside Perry atop the marquee after 18 holes.

“I made a lot of birdies and I made some great saves. When I got out of position, I made some really good saves, and that’s what kept it going,” said Small, who is the head golf coach at the University of Illinois.

Bart Bryant, Glen Day and Jeff Maggert were one off the lead at 6-under par, one clear of a fivesome at T6, headlined by defending champion Scott McCarron.

Vijay Singh, and three-time Senior Players champion Bernhard Langer, lead of group of five more who sit T11 at 4-under par.

Tournament favorite Jerry Kelly was in the next group at 3-under par.


SENIOR PLAYERS: TOP 10

1. Kenny Perry -7
1. Mike Small -7
3. Bart Bryant -6
3. Glen Day -6
3. Jeff Maggert -6
6. Tom Byrum -5
6. Wes Short Jr. -5
6. Scott Parel -5
6. Scott McCarron -5
6. Brandt Jobe -5

SENIOR PLAYERS: NOTABLES

11. Vijay Singh -4
11. Bernhard Langer -4
11. Rocco Mediate -4
16. Jerry Kelly -3
16. Tom Lehman -3
24. Corey Pavin -2
33. Miguel Angel Jimenez -1
33. Paul Broadhurst -1
33. Kevin Sutherland -1
33. Mark Calcavecchia -1
33. Tom Kite -1
51. John Daly E
51. Jesper Parnevik E
51. Colin Montgomerie E
61. Hale Irwin +1


HOW KENNY PERRY SCORED

Par-3 Scoring: -2 (2 Birdies, 2 Pars)
Par-4 Scoring: -2 (3 Birdies, 6 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Par-5 Scoring: -3 (3 Birdies, 1 Par)
Total Scoring: -7 (8 Birdies, 9 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Key Stretch: Nos. 5-11 (Birdie-Birdie-Bogey-Birdie-Birdie-Par-Birdie)


HOW MIKE SMALL SCORED

Par-3 Scoring: -2 (3 Birdies, 1 Bogey)
Par-4 Scoring: -2 (2 Birdies, 8 Pars)
Par-4 Scoring: -3 (3 Birdies, 1 Par)
Total Scoring: -7 (8 Birdies, 9 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Key Stretch: Nos. 11-15 (Birdie-Birdie-Par-Birdie-Birdie)


QUOTABLE: MIKE SMALL & KENNY PERRY

“I’m kind of like the rude guy out here. I’m not supposed to play well. I’m a coach, and even when I play those TOUR events or majors, I’m the underdog. It is what it is, but I played well the last two events out here. That’s how I got into this event. It’s kind of nice to get into this event by the way you played and earned it, so I’m excited.
– Mike Small

“This is a course none of us knows very well, so we’re all trying to figure it out. It’s a crash course in studying this place. It’s a beautiful facility, old Donald Ross. It’s amazing how they can build a golf course that’s this old. I think this is the third oldest club in Chicago. Beautiful clubhouse, facilities. They’ve got a great place here.”
– Kenny Perry

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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