Kenny Perry is looking for his second SAS Championship victory in five seasons. If he’s successful, he may have to get it done a little differently this time.
Course conditions were sunny and dry when Perry won the event two years ago after an eagle on No. 17 on Sunday, but this time the field is dripping by the continuing fall rain.
Perry, from Franklin, Ky., shot a 4-under-par 68 on Saturday to finish at 136, with Joe Durant at 137. First-round leader Bernhard Langer – who shot a 73 – and Lee Janzen are at 138, with Tom Lehman and John Riegger at 139.
Perry said the air may have been wet, but the course at Prestonwood remains in solid shape.
“(In 2011) I remember the sun shining all three days and the golf course playing hard and fast,” said Perry, who has six career wins in nine chances when going into the final round in the lead. “With it being soft, guys are going to be more aggressive and get down and get after it. You could actually see some really good scores so I’m going to have to go low again. It never fails - somebody on this tour always plays well on Sunday.”
Durant and Janzen each matched Perry’s 68 to get into solid contention going into the final round.
“We played six or seven holes, and it wasn’t too bad, but then it kind of came in on us, and once we made the turn it was pretty well socked in the rest of the day,” said Durant, who is playing Prestonwood for the first time. “I’ve just got to go do the same thing (Saturday night) that I usually do. Go watch a bunch of football. Florida State is who I follow, but they don’t play until late.”
Janzen’s first trip here was last year, when he shot 215 to finish in 43rd place.
“I moved forward today, and that was good,” Janzen said. “There were challenging conditions with the rain. The day started off a little challenging, which is an opportunity to focus on the right stuff. I (was) stuck in the elevator 45 minutes this morning.”
With three more tournaments to go in the Charles Schwab Cup competition after this weekend, Jeff Maggert and Colin Montgomerie are tied for the lead with 2,992 points, and Langer – who is the defending champion and also won in 2010 – is 388 points back.
Montgomerie and UNC alumnus Mike Goodes are in a big group at 142.
Defending tournament champion Kirk Triplett is at 146. Raleigh native Scott Hoch is at 147 and Roxboro’s Jim Thorpe at 150.
If Perry wins Sunday, it will mark the fourth time in six years a Kentuckian has won the tournament. Paducah’s Russ Cochran, who is at even-par 144, hoisted the trophy in 2010 and 2013.