Blaine, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kenny Perry drained a birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday to break a tie and beat Bernhard Langer to win the 3M Championship by a shot.
Entering the final hole tied with Langer, who was already in the clubhouse at 22-under, Perry's second shot went over the bleachers and he had to take a free drop. His chip came up about 10 feet short of the hole, and Perry's birdie putt to win dropped right in the center of the cup.
Perry shot a final-round 65 and ended the week at 23-under-par 193 at TPC Twin Cities. The victory is Perry's seventh on the Champions Tour and his second of the year after winning the Regions Tradition.
"When I saw that leaderboard and I saw him at 22-under, I about flipped out over there on 17 and I was like that guy, I cannot shake that guy," Perry said about Langer's incredible comeback. "Just a credit to that man. He's so determined. He's our stud out here, he's our horse."
Langer, who is a four-time winner on tour this year including victories at the Senior Players Championship and Senior Open Championship, continues to produce top-10 finishes. His final-round 63 put him in sole possession of second at 22-under 194.
Gene Sauers and Jeff Maggert carded matching 65s on Sunday and they finished tied for third at minus-20 along with Marco Dawson (67). Mike Goodes (64) finished alone in sixth at 18-under.
Entering the day with a 1-shot lead over Dawson, Perry made par at the first, while Dawson made birdie to pull even. Perry lost the lead when Dawson made his second straight birdie at No. 2, but Perry birdied the third to tie Dawson for the lead at minus-17.
Perry took the outright lead again when Dawson made bogey on No. 5. In the meantime, Langer made birdies at three, five and six to get to 16-under, one shot back of Perry.
Dawson got back into a tie for the lead by making an eagle at No. 6, while Perry made birdie. The duo was tied at 18-under with Langer and Maggert two back.
Langer dropped a shot at No. 7 and was three shots of the leaders. Perry made two more birdies at seven and eight to get to minus-20 and he and held a 2-shot lead over Dawson. After another bogey by Dawson at nine, Langer made gains at nine and 10 to move into a tie with Dawson at 17-under, three shots behind.
Perry continued to roll with birdies at 10 and 12. Langer gained a shot at 11 to get to 18-under and was tied with Dawson, Sauers and Maggert for second, four shots back.
Then Langer started to turn things on. The 56-year-old started to close the gap on Perry with three straight birdies from No. 13 to get to 21-under, while Perry made five straight pars from 13. Langer's tee shot at the par-3 17th came within five feet, and he knocked that in to tie Perry at 22-under heading into the final hole.
Playing in the penultimate group, Langer went for the green in two at the par-5 18th and came up short and to the right, landing in a hazard just over the water. Langer hacked his ball out of there and missed his putt on the way back, settling for par.
"My goal was to shoot 8-under and I thought 21-under would be good enough," Langer admitted. "Kenny made a great putt at 18. It was a hard putt. Obviously disappointed to not birdie 18, but can't be disappointed with 63."
Needing a birdie to win, Perry hit a 5-wood over the green and over the bleachers on his second shot at the last hole.
"I was in between yardages. The 3-iron would have been pushing to get it back here and the 5-wood was too much," Perry said. "I was trying to bank it off the green monster back here with the five, really I was. I was going over."
It did not quite work out that way for Perry, but following his drop, Perry left his chip short and he drained the subsequent putt and threw his fist in the air in celebration.
NOTES: Perry earned $262,500 with this victory ... Langer's second-place finish is his fourth this year and his 14th top-10 finish this season. The only event he did not finish in the top 10 was at the Encompass Championship, where he ended tied for 20th ... At 69 years old, Hale Irwin bested his age for the third time (68-66-68) this week. he finished tied for ninth at 14- under and it is his 210th top-10 finish of his career, which is a tour best ... The Champions Tour takes a week off before heading to the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, New York, where Bart Bryant won last year.