Kenny Perry gets special invitation to PGA Championship at Valhalla

May 25, 2014 

Senior PGA Golf

Kenny Perry hits a tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., Sunday, May 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

PAUL SANCYA — AP

The PGA of America announced that Kentucky native Kenny Perry, a member of the victorious 2008 United States Ryder Cup Team in his home state, was given a special invitation to compete in the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

PGA President Ted Bishop extended the invitation after Perry finished 13th in the 75th Senior PGA Championship at Benton Harbor, Mich.

Perry, a native of Elizabethtown who played at Lone Oak High School and Western Kentucky University, will be making his third Valhalla appearance in a PGA Championship. In 1996, Perry lost to Mark Brooks in a playoff. He tied for 30th in 2000, the last time the championship was contested at Valhalla.

Perry's best Valhalla highlight came in 2008, when he earned 2½ points to help the United States reclaim the Ryder Cup from Europe, 16½ to 11½ .

"Kenny is an outstanding representative of the game and the PGA of America, and I'm sure he will experience another memorable week at Valhalla in August," Bishop said.

This year's tournament is scheduled to conclude on Aug. 10, which will be Perry's 54th birthday. He had talked Saturday about the possibility of playing at Valhalla.

"To me, if I can get back there, it would be a great way to say 'bye' to everybody," Perry said. "It's kind of my way to retire. I've given 30 years of my life to the PGA Tour and it would be a great way to kind of end my chapter on the PGA Tour out there."

Perry came into this weekend's Senior PGA Championship on a roll, having won the last three Champions Tour majors he had participated in.

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