1987: Tom Kite wins the Kemper Open by 7 strokes

Tom Kite

Tom Kite breezes to victory at The Kemper Open

On this day, In 1987 Tom Kite collected his 10th PGA victory at the Kemper Open.  After struggling on the front nine in the final round, Kite regained his composure to take the $126,000 first prize.  It was his biggest payday in 15 years on the PGA Tour.  He won by seven strokes which was supported by an first round bid of 64.

Kite made four bogeys on the front nine and led by two shots after the 10th hole. But he gradually stretched the advantage to six strokes by notching birdies on 11 and 12 and an eagle on the 524-yard par-5 13th hole. Kite all but wrapped up the tournament when he holed a 40-foot putt to go 14-under with five holes to play.

Chris Perry and Howard Twitty finished second to earn $61,600 each in the first Tour event at the 6,864-yard TPC Avenel.  Perry, who entered the final round one stroke behind Kite, had six bogeys on the front nine to fall well behind the leaders. It was the best finish for Perry, the son of Jim Perry, a former major-league pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

Greg Norman, the defending champion and co-leader with Kite after the first round Thursday, trailed the leader by one stroke after eight holes. But he fell off the pace when he double-bogeyed the troublesome ninth hole for the second consecutive day.

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