Kenny Perry's dramatic defeat in a three-way sudden death playoff at this year's Masters could've sent him into a tailspin of frustration. But the 48 year-old veteran insists it has only motivated him more.
"Very positive," Perry said of his experience at Augusta this year. "Enjoyed it. It was a good ride. Look forward to the opportunity to try to get in there again. Made me hungrier, basically."
Leading the field by two strokes with two holes remaining, Perry bogeyed twice. That led to a three-way playoff with Chad Campbell and Angel Cabrera, who ended up winning the event. While his loss that day may have seemed like a devastating collapse, Perry said it renewed his determination.
"It gave me a lot of confidence to give me the ability to know that I can do it," said Perry, likening it to his second-place finish at the PGA Championship in 1996 "I had it. That was something I had. Kind of like 1996. I had that deal done too, PGA, and I just did not quite finish it out."
Both times he came so close, and both times he finished just shy.
"I know I can do it," Perry said. "I've got to rethink it a little bit when I'm coming down on the last couple of holes and not get ahead of myself. But I look forward to the challenge."
Perry indicated that this week's event may be his shot at redemption.
"I tried to get that green jacket. I had one arm on the Cup and I had one sleeve on the arm in the green jacket; I hope I can hug that U.S. Open trophy come Sunday," Perry said.
Of all his achievements, however, Perry said that winning the 2008 Ryder Cup in his home state of Kentucky was his best yet, especially given that his father was able to witness the victory firsthand.
His father, Ken Sr., 84 years old at the time and battling health problems, walked onto the green after the win, gave Perry a big hug and said, 'That's the greatest gift you could have ever given me.'
"Just for me and him to have that special moment as a father/son meant a lot," Perry said.
"To me that was the ultimate, That was so special to me."
Perry admitted, however, that if he ends up winning Sunday, that may be subject to change.
"I'll answer that question differently come Sunday if that happens."