The Broadmoor has hosted seven previous USGA championships, including the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, won by Eduardo Romero.
“I have never played there but have heard it’s fantastic,” Perry said of a course that features nine holes designed by Donald Ross and nine by Robert Trent Jones Sr. “I was never good at The International (Perry advanced to Sunday three times in that former PGA Tour event, which used a modified Stableford scoring system and was played at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado), but I hit the ball forever there.”
Located at 6,230 feet above sea level, The Broadmoor doesn’t offer Perry his ideal playing conditions.
“I play my best when there’s water in the air,” he said. “When you’re in light air, the ball just knuckles, and I don’t get enough spin on it. I may need to get a driver with more loft for that week.”
His 2017 U.S. Senior Open win also earned Perry a spot in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
“I hope somehow I can regain some type of form to where I can play well there,” said Perry, whose best finish in the U.S. Open is a tie for third in 2003 at Olympia Fields Country Club. “I can still hit it 300 yards off the tee, but a U.S. Open is not based on power, in my opinion, especially at Shinnecock with all of the wispy grass and all the trouble everywhere. We’ll see. I’m just going to enjoy it because it’s a great opportunity.”
Perry’s made the most of his opportunities on the PGA Tour Champions, compiling nine wins since 2011 among his 56 top-10 finishes in 123 starts.
“This Tour is mind-blowing as to how far under par you have to shoot over three days. It’s definitely a 100-yard dash,” he said of the typical 54-hole format on tour. “You have to be firing on all eight cylinders come the first day. It’s hard to come back if you shoot over par.”
He does relish the increased camaraderie, however.
“I think what’s different about this Tour is we’re all kind of pulling for each other. If I’m not playing very well, I’m still going to be rooting for my friends, even in the majors. On the PGA Tour, I was into my own thing and didn’t really care what anyone else was doing. I was trying to make a living and be successful. Out here, it’s more like this has been your family for 35 years.”
As for the two Francis D. Ouimet Memorial trophies that Perry has earned, he keeps one at his home and the other at Country Creek Golf Course, a facility he owns in Franklin.
“It’s a beautiful trophy, but with all that silver, I have to keep polishing them,” he said. “It’s so cool to look at all the names of great champions like [Jack] Nicklaus and [Arnold] Palmer. You don’t realize how prestigious that trophy really is. Having my name on it twice is pretty cool.”
As for the possibility of adding to it a third time?
“Oh my goodness,” said Perry. “I haven’t thought that far before to tell you the truth. There would be no words to describe it if that happened.”
Tom Mackin is an Arizona-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.