- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2009

From combined dispatches

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. | Kenny Perry finally finished off Charley Hoffman in a playoff, making a 22-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole Sunday in the FBR Open.

After Perry bogeyed the final hole of regulation to set up the playoff, the two bogeyed and parred the first two extra holes. Perry then rolled in the long putt on the par-4 17th to end the second straight playoff in the event.

Perry closed with a 2-under 69 to match Hoffman (67) at 14-under 270 at TPC Scottsdale. It was the 13th PGA Tour victory for Perry, the 48-year-old from Kentucky who won three times last year and played on the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Kevin Na (68) finished third at 13 under. Na rallied from six strokes back but barely missed an 8-foot putt on the 18th hole that would have put him in the playoff.

Perry blew a chance to win it in regulation. Leading by a stroke, all Perry needed was a par on the 18th, a hole he birdied twice and parred once this week. But he drove into a fairway bunker and had to settle for a bogey 5.

That set up the playoff, and it looked as if neither player wanted to win.

The playoff opened at the par-4 18th, and Hoffman, and Perry drove into bunkers and settled for bogeys. Next up was the par-4 10th, which Hoffman birdied in each of the first three rounds.

Hoffman bombed his tee shot off a cart path and over the green, then chipped to 13 feet. Perry drove into the left rough, then hit an iron 20 feet from the cup.

Both players two-putted, and the playoff dragged on to the 17th.

That was where, in regulation, Perry had taken a short-lived, one-shot lead with a birdie about an hour earlier.

This time, Perry drove to the right of the green, then chipped to about 22 feet.

Hoffman hit his tee shot into a bunker and also chipped to the fringe before missing a 34-footer for birdie.

That opened the door for Perry, who calmly rolled in the winner in front of a gallery that had dwindled as spectators left to watch the Super Bowl.

McIlroy wins in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates | Rory McIlroy shot a 2-under 70 for his first European Tour victory, a one-shot win over Justin Rose at the Dubai Desert Classic.

McIlroy, a 19-year-old from Northern Ireland, finished at 19-under 269 to become the seventh youngest winner on the European Tour.

“This is my first win, and it’s hard to win. … The first time always is,” McIlroy said. “It’s definitely a monkey off my back, having lost in playoffs twice. It’s been an absolutely fantastic week.”

McIlroy started with three straight birdies, then made a double-bogey on the fifth hole and a bogey on the eighth. From the ninth, he made five straight birdies, but just when he looked to be cruising to his first win, he dropped three shots on three holes before scraping through with a par on No. 18.

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