Kohki Idoki’s eyes welled with tears as he putted for the Senior PGA Championship, and again in the interview room Sunday. Everything about his first appearance in the event, and first trip to the United States, was perfect.
“It is one of the greatest things to win in this game, so I cannot imagine more,” Idoki said Sunday through a translator. “I can’t believe that I am the champion.”
Kenny Perry can’t believe he let another major tournament title slip away.
“Well, it was going good for the first 13 holes or whatever,” Perry said.
Idoki erased a 5-stroke deficit against a fading Perry with room to spare, charging to a 2-stroke victory at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.
It was the third bitter final-round major tournament failure for the 52-year-old Perry, who led by 3 strokes with six holes to play but settled for a second-place tie with Jay Haas.
Perry spoke briefly after trudging off the 18th green, noting that he’d been “shell shocked” by his crucial double bogey and that he was “in jail the whole time.”
“It didn’t seem like he was sharp from the beginning,” Haas said. “I just don’t think he was as sharp. If he was, he would have been 14 or 15 under, I think, with no problem.”
For the first 12 holes, it appeared to be a two-man contest between Perry and Haas, a two-time champion and hometown favorite from nearby Belleville, Ill. To Haas, the 5-foot-5, 136-pound player from Osaka, Japan, tracking them down was a mystery man.
“I’ve never seen Idoki hit a shot or anything, so I don’t know much about him,” Haas said. “But obviously he’s a hell of a player. A great round, and he did what he had to do.”
The 51-year-old Idoki closed with a 6-under 65 to finish at 11 under and become the first player since to win the tournament on his first attempt since 2009.
Boo Weekley was at the 13th hole during the final round of the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, before he finally glanced at a leaderboard — and saw his name on the top.
It was at that par 3 surrounded by an often rowdy crowd that he also heard the loudest “Boo!” in some time.
Weekley hit his birdie putt from about 22 feet, then swiped his putter in the air as if guiding the ball into the cup. He thrust the club above his head when the ball dropped to get him to 14 under, where he finished Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory in five years.
With five consecutive pars after that, Weekly finished at 14-under 266 for a 1-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, the second- and third-round leader who had a closing 68.
Defending champion Zach Johnson, who also won at Hogan’s Alley in 2010, shot 66 to finish third at 12 under for his first top-10 finish this season.
A week like no other on the LPGA Tour ended with Ilhee Lee winning for the first time.
Lee made a clutch par putt to keep a 1-shot lead, and then drilled a fairway metal onto the par-5 18th green to set up a two-putt birdie. She closed with a 5-under 42 on Sunday for a 2-shot win over Irene Cho in the Bahamas LPGA Classic in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
It was only fitting that the tournament ended in a downpour. Flooding earlier in the week left so much of the Ocean Club under water that the tour’s best option was to shorten the course to 12 holes and play three rounds to reach the 36 holes required.
Italy’s Matteo Manassero became the youngest champion in the 58-year history of the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, beating England’s Simon Khan with a birdie on the fourth hole of a playoff in Virginia Water, England.
Manassero, at 20 years, 37 days, made amends for letting victory slip away two years ago at Wentworth. The previous youngest winner was Scotland’s Bernhard Gallacher in 1969 at 20 years, 97 days. With the victory, his fourth European Tour title, Manassero qualified for the U.S. Open next month and avoided a 36-hole qualifier today at Walton Heath.