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Kenny Perry wants to join 20 victories club

Like a good wine, Kenny Perry is getting better with age and has set his sights on winning at least eight more PGA Tour titles before he retires from the game.

Last year at 48, he became the oldest player to triumph three times in a single season on the world's most competitive circuit and his hunger for further success is undiminished.

"Y'all may think I'm crazy but I want to get 20 wins," American Perry told reporters on the eve of Thursday's first round at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship.

"I've got 12. Somehow I've got to win eight more times and I turn 50 in a year-and-a-half. Is that a realistic goal? I think it is. I think I can play well up into my mid-fifties and be successful out here.

"I'm not going to put a lot of time or pressure trying to do that," added Perry, who piled up career-high earnings of $4.66 million to finish fifth in the 2008 PGA Tour money list.

"I still hit it far enough and my short game has come around. The biggest part is going to be how focused I am. How much am I going to prepare like I did last year? That taught me a great lesson, my preparation."

Although many top players lose their touch on and around the greens as they approach 50, Perry has actually improved.

"My chipping is still not great but the putter is what has really turned my career around these last few years," he said. "I feel very confident, very comfortable over the putts now.

"That's been probably the biggest confidence boost I've had in a long time. I've won nine times in my 40s and I'm a very streaky player, always have been.

"If I catch fire in a streak of tournaments I've had success at, I could put two or three more (wins) on the board."

Last year, Perry's top priority was making the U.S. Ryder Cup team in his home state of Kentucky.

He comfortably achieved his goal and went on to win two-and-a-half points out of four to help the Americans beat Europe for the first time in nine years at the biennial competition.

This year, the Americans take on the Internationals at the Presidents Cup in San Francisco where Perry has targeted a spot on the team for a fourth time.

"They (Presidents Cups) are a lot of fun," he said. "The guys you play in competition are the guys we see mostly week-in and week-out out here.

January 8 , 2009

 




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