PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Kenny Perry, the reigning U.S. Senior Open champion, has been named the Champions Tour Player of the Year.
Perry, 53, of Franklin, Ky., registered three victories in 2013, including consecutive major titles at the Constellation Senior Players Championship and the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club, where he carded rounds of 64-63 on the weekend for a 13-under total of 267, which tied the 72-hole championship scoring record.
Perry also claimed the season-long Charles Schwab Cup, which recognizes the Champions Tour’s most consistent player. Perry and 2010 U.S. Senior Open champion Bernhard Langer, who finished No. 1 on the money list, were the only two Champions Tour golfers to surpass $2 million in officials earnings this season.
"I'm thrilled to be the Champions Tour Player of the Year,” said Perry, who won the vote over seven other nominees, including Langer and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate. “I figured I had a pretty good shot at it but Bernhard had a heck of a year too and you never know until the votes are counted. The fact that this award comes from a vote by my peers is a real honor and I am very proud to receive it. This is an excellent reward for all the work I put in this season and I look forward to many more great years on the Champions Tour."
“Kenny had an incredible year,” said Champions Tour President Mike Stevens. “To win any major championship requires terrific skill but to win consecutive major titles, particularly with the fantastic scores he shot in Pittsburgh and Omaha, is an amazing feat. And I can think of no better way to cap off a terrific season than to capture the Charles Schwab Cup. Kenny gives back to the Champions Tour in so many ways and is a huge asset to our tournaments, so it’s fitting that he’s received this unique recognition from his fellow players.”
Mediate, who finished in a tie for third with 1995 U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin at this year’s U.S. Senior Open, was named the Champions Tour Rookie of the Year. Mediate, who is from Greensburg, Pa., turned 50 on Dec. 17, 2012 and then won in his Champions Tour debut at the Allianz Championship. He later claimed the Shaw Charity Classic.
“It’s really cool to win this award because you only get one go at it – you’re only a rookie once,” said Mediate. “Esteban [Toledo] had a great year and so did Duffy [Waldorf]. It was a close race and I think the final event may have helped me get over the line. I’m really proud to be Rookie of the Year knowing the vote comes from the players on the Champions Tour. That makes it very special.”