sport

Perry aiming for title defence

Veteran American Kenny Perry has set his sights on defending the Franklin Templeton Shootout title he won last year alongside Sean O'Hair.

But, whatever happens at this weekend's event, the pair plan to have fun.

Perry last year became the oldest winner of the tournament when, at the age of 52, he teamed up with O'Hair to edge out Charles Howell and Rory Sabbatini by one shot - courtesy of a burst of five birdies over the final six holes.

The duo form part of a strong 24-man field at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, and Perry - who turned professional the year O'Hair was born - expects an exciting weekend.

"I'm a pretty straight driver and if I can just get it in the fairway and turn him loose, we're going to have a great week no matter what," the 53-year-old said on www.pgatour.com.

"Win, lose, whatever, it doesn't matter. We both like old cars, we talk hot rods and we just have a great time. We complement each other very well and it's just fun, whatever.

"We're going to stick the needle in all these other young teams and smile at them and hopefully we can beat them."

O'Hair has fond memories of the 2012 triumph and would love more of the same over the next three days.

"I think it was probably my best memory of last year," the 32-year-old said. "We ham-and-egged it pretty good. Kenny was just rock solid and I was hitting it pretty long at the time."

He added: "I'm going to ride the stallion here. He's obviously playing pretty well and just see how it goes. I'm just looking forward to having a fun week."

Greg Norman has assembled an impressive line-up for the 25th anniversary of the event, including seven players who have won PGA Tour titles this year - Perry, Jonas Blixt, Jason Dufner, Harris English, Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar - and six major champions in Norman himself, Dufner, Mark Calcavecchia, Retief Goosen, Justin Leonard and Mike Weir.

England's Lee Westwood will be competing in the tournament for the first time along with five other debutants - Blixt, Goosen, English, Horschel and Graham DeLaet.

Boo Weekley withdrew earlier this week due to multiple deaths in his family during the previous week and a half. He has been replaced by Freddie Jacobson, winner of the 2011 Travelers Championship.

The competition will feature a modified alternate-shot format during the first round, a better-ball Saturday and a final-round scramble on Sunday.