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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 279
PERKS’ FREAKISH PLAYERS FINISH I F your significant other gets on your back for watching a “boring” sport, simply click the button below and show them Craig Perks’ three-hole stretch to win the 2002 Players Championship. The little-known New Zealander was three-over-par for the day when he reached the 16th hole at TPC Sawgrass – but he was still only one shot off the lead. What happened next will go down in history as one of the greatest finishes in modern golf. Perks missed the green with his second shot into the par-5 and nearly found the water. But his ball held up in the thick rough and he proceeded to chip in for eagle to steal the lead. He moved onto the infamous 17th hole filled with nerves. “I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t spit, I couldn’t focus on what was going on,” Perks recalled. Common sense prevailed and he bailed out to the fat side of the green, leaving himself 30 feet from the hole. Two putts for par would work just fine. But Perks had other ideas. His ball caught the left edge of the hole and disappeared to give himself a two-shot lead heading down the last. “It was out of control, it was a raucous atmosphere and I was actually embracing it,” Perks said. An errant tee shot sent him into the trees, and he was forced to play sideways and trust his wedge game to salvage par. His approach into the 18th pitched on the green before releasing into the rough behind the flag. Facing a pressure-filled up-and-down for bogey, the 35-year-old clipped his ball sweetly and it rolled into the cup with perfect pace for par and a two-shot victory. Perks never won again on the PGA Tour, but he will always be remembered for his miraculous three-hole stretch at the 2002 Players Championship. 2002 THIS WEEK IN ... • Annika Sorenstam wins her 33rd title on the LPGA Tour and fourth major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. • Halle Berry becomes the first African- American to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball”. Denzel Washington also wins for “Training Day”. • Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, The Queen Mother (wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II), dies aged 101. • Jimmy Maher makes 95 batting first drop as Australia defeats South Africa by 45 runs in an ODI in Centurion. ALSO MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK IN 2002 WATCH: CRAIG PERKS’ INCREDIBLE THREE-HOLE FINISH WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
GA Express 278
GA Express 280