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B.C. Open
En-Joie Golf Club
Endicott, New York
17th - 20th September 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $1.5 million

Final Round Report

Chris Perry captures first PGA Tour victory

Associated Press

Endicott, New York, 20th September 1998 - Chris Perry finally won't have to hear it any more: "Why haven't you won? You've been right there.''

After 14 years, Perry finally was right there on a Sunday.

He shot a 5-under-par 67 today to win the B.C. Open by three strokes over Peter Jacobsen. Perry finished the four rounds at 15-under 273 and took the first-place check of $270,000.

Nolan Henke was third, another stroke back, while Curt Byrum, Robert Allenby, and Ted Tryba finished tied for fourth at 278.

This was the 36-year-old Perry's 378th PGA Tour tournament. He will turn 37 on September 27.

"The first win is pretty tough,'' said Perry, who began the day two shots off the lead and made three birdies on the front nine to move into first. "Somebody's always just played better. I've been in position sometimes, I just haven't played my best on Sunday. I drew on all those experiences. It was time for me to win. I never really lost faith in myself. You've just got to believe you can do it.''

Perry, won it when nobody else mounted a challenge.

Third-round leader Bruce Fleisher, who started today with a one-stroke lead over Henke, faltered on the front nine with three bogeys, added two more on the back and finished with a 76 and in a tie for ninth at 280.

"It's a good finish. I'm looking forward to the Senior Tour,'' said Fleisher, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in October and then head for the Senior PGA Tour. "I don't think my heart can take this course again. I got off to a very slow start. When you start bogeying par-5s, you know you're in trouble.''

Perry was in trouble four times but always managed to escape.

"I'd see him in the trees and in the fairway. Then I'd see him put his hand up after he made the putt for par,'' said Henke, who parred the first eight holes and finished with a 72 after two birdies and two bogeys. "He played well today. He's got the monkey off his back. Now maybe he'll win a few more tournaments.''

Perry went to 13-under with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth, then watched Henke finally break through with a birdie on No. 10 to tie him for the lead.

After a bogey-5 on the 11th, though, Perry reeled off three straight birdies on the rock-hard En-Joie Golf Club course to go 15-under. Jacobsen, who was already in the clubhouse with a final-round 67, watched on TV as his chance at victory suddenly vanished.

Perry comes from a family more used to pitching victories. His father, Jim, pitched in the major leagues for 17 years and his uncle, Gaylord Perry, is in the baseball Hall of Fame. Each won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the game.

Today, Chris could identify with their legacy.

"I feel like I won the Cy Young,'' Perry said as he looked at the championship trophy. "This is a great feeling. A win is a win. It doesn't matter if it's the U.S. Open, the B.C. Open, Milwaukee or wherever. I played solid, and I felt really good, and I played within myself.''


Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round