Even in defeat, Sunday seems to be Kenny Perry's time during the Memorial Tournament.
He carded a 9-under-par 63 during the final round in 2007. That enabled him to tie Rod Pampling for third place after starting the day tied for 16th, and the late charge stands as the lowest final-round score in tournament history.
Moreover, he stared down Hale Irwin, a two-time Memorial champion and former Colorado defensive back, to win in a playoff for his first victory at Muirfield Village Golf Club in 1991. And en route to another Memorial triumph in 2003, he held steady on Sunday to fend off a slew of major champions in the top 10 that included Tiger Woods, Lee Janzen, Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh.
So the fact that he joined Woods as the tournament's only three-time winner a year ago came as no real surprise. Trailing Matthew Goggin by three strokes entering the final round, Perry shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 8-under 280 as Goggin, Jerry Kelly, Justin Rose and Mike Weir tied for second at 282.
"If I'm in contention here on Sunday, I always like my chances," Perry said.
He took the lead for good when Weir's approach to the 10th hole came up short and he took a bogey. Meanwhile, Perry was saving par out of a bunker on No. 12 and the back rough at No. 14, and a birdie putt at the 15th gave him a three-shot lead. Perry's lone bogey of the day came at No. 17.
"I saw a lot of guys struggling," Memorial founder and host Jack Nicklaus said. "Kenny was the only one that never looked like he put himself in a position where he could get in trouble. He looked like a guy who knew what he was doing and a guy who knew the golf course."
That wasn't necessarily the case in 2003, however. A decade of major renovations was nearly complete, with all 18 of the greens having been reseeded and 10 of them contoured differently that year. The par-17th hole had been completely redesigned, too.
And his victory last year came on a course that eventually ranked fifth among the 54 used on the PGA Tour in terms of average score over par. Rocco Mediate, who two weeks later took Woods to sudden death at the U.S. Open, was the only other player in the Memorial's final top nine to break 70 on Sunday.
Making the victory even more special was the fact that Perry's wife, Sandy, and all three of their children made the drive up from the family's home in Franklin, Ky. It marked his 10th career victory but was the first time they were standing at his side for a trophy presentation.
"It's a pretty sweet day," Perry said. "I've definitely had some pretty good Sundays here."