For the record, Pat Perez spent much of his brief offseason drinking and watching golf on TV, he didn’t like his chances going into the CIMB Classic and he hit the ball “terribly” during the final round at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
He won by four strokes, shooting 24-under 264 for career victory No. 3. And he wants to make one thing very clear.
“I’m not going to change anything,” the 41-year-old Perez said. “I’m still not going to work out. I’m still gonna have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself. I’ve got my group of friends and that kind of stuff. I’m really not going to change anything.”
The self-deprecating veteran withstood a final-round charge from Keegan Bradley, who shot 5-under 67 in Round 4 to finish solo second at 20 under. Perez parred 10 consecutive holes to finish his final round in 3-under 69 and win for the second time in as many years, backing up his 2016 OHL Classic triumph in Mexico.
One can assume Perez put in some practice time during a short break after the FedEx Cup Playoffs. But he’s one of few players who realizes that doesn’t exactly make for thrilling post-round chatter.
“I didn’t really do anything,” Perez said. “I watched the Presidents Cup and I drank a lot that week and ate a lot and hit balls. I planned to hit balls on Friday last week, once for a couple hours, and we drank and I played with (PXG founder Bob) Mr. Parsons. I didn’t really know what to expect when I came over here. Then I had a knot in my shoulder from sleeping on the plane and (had) back problems and I couldn’t sleep and thought I was sick and all these kind of things. I don’t know. I didn’t really have any pressure when I got here, so I was just hoping to kind of stay alive in the heat.”
All joking aside, Perez finished 15th in the FedEx Cup standings last season and it’s fair to wonder about his chances at a 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup roster spot. That’s certainly true for reigning Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele as well. The Tour Championship winner handled the increased expectations and finished T-3 at 17 under alongside Sung Kang.
We’ll sort through all that over the next 11 months. For now, let’s just appreciate that fun, overseas birdie-fest won by a 41-year-old who rocks Air Jordan golf shoes and doesn’t let anyone tell him how he should prepare. Gwk
PGA Tour 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and Sung Kang finished T-3 at 17 under and Cameron Smith and Hideki Matsuyama finished T-5 at 16 under.