Perry withdrew from the PGA Championship on Thursday. Perry was considered iffy for the tournament after suffering a scratched cornea on Tuesday. His doctors advised him not to wear his contact lenses for a week, but Perry, saying he couldn't see well enough to play without eyewear, and didn't consider glasses an option, teed off Thursday wearing the contacts.
After shooting a first-round 79, Perry decided to withdraw.
Perry has three victories to date in 2008 and is playing the best golf of his career. He is second on the PGA Tour money list and second on the FedEx Cup points list. He achieved what he said was his goal for 2008 - earning a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team (the Ryder Cup being played in Perry's native Kentucky).
But Perry hasn't achieved anything major this year - as in major championship. With his withdrawal today from the PGA, Perry now finishes 2008 without having finished a major; in fact, without having competed in three of the four:
- The Masters: Failed to qualify
- U.S. Open: Chose not to enter qualifying
- British Open: Chose not to play
- PGA Championship: Withdrew after first round
The greatness of golfers is measured by their performances in majors. Having involuntarily skipped one major this year, voluntarily skipped two others, and withdrawn from the fourth major, can Perry's 2008 be considered a great year?
Perry might think of it that way, given his three wins and the fact that he accomplished his primary goal of making the Ryder Cup. And that's good enough for now. But history might settle on a different conclusion.