Defending champion Russ Cochran also has committed to the field of the Champions Tour event, which is scheduled for Oct. 10-12.
"To see players like him at the majors is a testament to the level of talent that competes every week on the Champions Tour, and it will be a pleasure to welcome Kenny and Russ back to Cary," SAS Championship Tournament Director Jeff Kleiber said.
After earning a special exemption from the PGA of America into the field this week, Perry returned to the site of his best major finish. In 1996, he lost to Mark Brooks in a playoff, the first time the PGA Championship was played at Valhalla Golf Club.
“To me, this is it (Valhalla Golf Club), I’ve got way too many memories here. This place is probably number one in my heart,” Perry said. “It’s a tremendous place for me to be in my home state. It’s one of those kinds of gifts, to be able to come back to Valhalla, to where it all kind of started for me. To be able to say goodbye, shake a lot of hands, and thank a lot of people.”
Perry has had a strong performance in the first half of the year, he claimed his third career Champions Tour major by winning the Regions Tradition in May. It was his third straight Champions Tour major following the Constellation Senior Players and the U.S. Senior Open in 2013, the latter of which qualified him for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Perry finished tied for 28th, but hit one of the most memorable shots of the week, holing out for eagle on the 14th hole from 144 yards during the third round.
Last weekend, Perry captured his seventh career Champions Tour victory at the 3M Championship edging fellow SAS Champion Bernhard Langer.
While Cochran was not in the field at Valhalla, he will return to Cary in October to defend his 2013 SAS Championship title and try to become the first three-time winner in the event’s 14 year history having also won in 2010. Cochran currently has five Champions Tour victories, including one major, the 2011 Senior Open Championship.
Tickets are available for the SAS Championship and can be purchased online at saschampionship.com or by calling 919-531-4653. A limited number of volunteer positions are also still available, to register visit saschampionship.com.
J. Eric Eckard writes about all things golf on his second golfer blog. You also can follow him on Twitter.