There is no finer guy in golf than Kenny Perry.

          It was gut wrenching to watch his meltdown at Augusta, seeing a great and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip away from him. In a golf year filled with uneven moments, one of the saddest for me occurred at The Players. Perry was playing in a group with Angel Cabrera, the fellow who was good and lucky (recall the shot off the tree) to beat Perry in the playoff at the Masters.

          I asked how he felt and he said, "Sad." I laughed a little, thinking he was kidding. But it was clear he was serious. That round brought back awful memories for him. Kudos to someone who a) agreed to be interviewed about it and b) was honest enough to say that. It was a tough year for him in other ways, too, given that his mom lost her long struggtle with cancer.

         Before the Open at Bethpage, I did a piece on Perry and the public course he built for his fellow residents at home in Kentucky. He is the rare big-money athlete who was not only interested in the fact the story ran , he asked for a copy of it. Just like high school or college kids do.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

          Perry is a man of faith and he knows he has had many blessings. He likes to share them. So when he played in the SBS Championship in Maui this past week, he didn't just show up. He brought 13 people with him--family members and friends, including a couple that used the trip as an opportunity to get married.

          It wasn't even so bad that he was paired again with Cabrera.