SAN ANTONIO – Kenny Perry made a 10-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Bernhard Langer on Sunday to win the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship.
Perry and Langer each shot 5-under 67 to finish at 13-under 203 on TPC San Antonio's AT&T Canyons Course. Perry saved par on the final hole of regulation with an 18-foot putt.
"I made clutch putts just to even hang in there with him," Perry said. "Putter saved me."
He didn't know he needed to make the long putt on 18 in regulation to remain tied with Langer, who was playing in the group behind him.
"When I made that putt, I thought I had a one-shot lead and that he would have to birdie 18 to catch me," Perry said. "I look over there, and he had birdied 17. I thought, `Dang, I had to make that to tie.' So, I guess it was a good mindset for me to know that I was relaxed and could putt with a good speed and hit it right in the middle."
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Perry hit an 8-iron from 176 yards to set up the winning 10-foot putt in the playoff.
"It was perfect," Perry said. "I was jacked up, downwind, lot of adrenaline. I hit it the perfect distance. It was an amazing shot. I usually hit 160 with an 8-iron. Isn't that funny what adrenaline does to you?"
Perry extended his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup from 494 to 612 points entering the season-ending Schwab Cup Championship next week in San Francisco. The 14-time PGA Tour winner won the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open in consecutive tour starts this summer and has five career victories on the 50-and-over circuit.
"I'm the guy that's being hunted," Perry said. "I think you have a different attitude when you're the hunter, and you're trying to attack. He's in the attack mode every week, trying to catch me, and I'm trying to play defense like a goalie in hockey. I'm trying to block him and keep him away."
The top 30 on the money list qualified for the finale, though Perry and Langer are the only players with a shot at the $1 million annuity for the points title.
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"He's going in with a very large lead," Langer said. "I don't know if it's over. Theoretically, it's possible. I'm going to play as well as I can and see what happens."
Langer also lost a playoff last year in the event, falling to David Frost on the second extra hole.
"I don't feel all that bad," Langer said. "I played really good golf and kept my emotions in check. I was pretty relaxed. I have no regrets whatsoever. It just turned out that one person in the field beat me in the playoff. There's not much I can do about that."
Fred Funk, Colin Montgomerie and Kirk Triplett tied for third, two shots back. Funk shot 67, Triplett had a 68 and Montgomerie a 69.