Perez Getting Some Ink On Callaway Golf Blog

Pat Perez is off to a blazing start this season, having wrapped the recent AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a T7th finish. Below is some ink from CallawayGolf.com and a piece by staff writer Jeff Newton in regards to PP’s new gear. Have a read:

New Staff Pro Pat Perez kept his hot streak going at Pebble Beach, where he posted yet another top-10, the third in his five starts as a Callaway staffer. Perez has been one of the most consistent players week-in and week-out since he made his Callaway debut last month at the Sony Open.

He finished T7 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and jumped up to 17th in the FedExCup standings after another strong tournament performance. Here’s a look at some of the Callaway equipment in Pat’s bag:

Big Bertha Driver (9°)
X2 Hot Pro 3-Wood (15°)
Apex Pro Irons (4-9)
Mack Daddy 2 Wedges (47°, 52°, 56°, 60°)
Odyssey Versa Jailbird Putter

- His driver is 44 1/4” in length with 1” tipping and is set to have some Draw bias.

- His 3-wood has 16° of actual loft, 1 1/2” tipping, and is cut to 42 1/4”

- Pat first put his Versa Jailbird in play at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T2. Jailbird is a new edition to Odyssey’s Tour proven, major winning Versa line. It’s a step up in visionary alignment that adds an additional high contrast alignment stripe. This extra stripe helps enhance the alignment through your stroke to accentuate face angle and improve concentration to sink more putts. It sure seems to be working for Pat!

T7th Finish For Perez At Pebble Beach

New year, new gear, new swing coach and a whole new set of results for Pat Perez as the west coast swing rolls on.

Perez wrapped a T7th finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday, closing with a final round 71—again closing strong, picking up a few late strokes which were the difference between a fourth Top 10 and T13th.

After a par on one, Perez birdied the par-five second, but gave back a stroke with a bogey on the par-four fourth and netting two straight pars. A birdie on seven was followed buy a birdie when a five-foot putt-for-par rolled long.

Even at the turn, Perez picked up three more pars before a bogey on the par-three twelfth. After hitting into the right green side bunker, Perez’s attempt at and up-and-down went awry after a par putt missed wide.

With six to play, Perez picked up birdies on the par-five fourteenth and par-four sixteenth, getting to one-under on the day and parring seventeen and eighteen to close.

Saturday’s round of 71 had a similar strong finish. Two over at the turn, attempting rebound from back-to-back bogeys after an eagle on the par-five seventh, Perez parred five straight before a birdie on the par-three fifteenth and an eagle on the par-four seventeenth.

The T7th finish earned Perez $205,700 and 85 FedExCup points, moving him from 22nd to 16th on the official money list and 22nd to 17th in the FedExCup standings.

Next up, a return to Riviera for the Northern Trust Open, where Perez finished T13th in 2013. His best finish is 8th in 2007 when the event was dubbed the Nissan Open.

Follow all the latest PGA Tour action this week from Riviera and the Pacific Palisades.

… A Hearty Salute To Our Military

Another great experience at Pebble Beach and a hearty thank you to the military out here this week. Great meeting up with Brian Garoutte and all the other men and women out there who do what they do so Tour guys like us can do what we do.

Please keep coming out to these events as it’s a great reminder for all of us. Thank you again. Semper Fi. God Bless America. – P.P. 

Opening Round 68 At Monterey Peninsula

Pat Perez is back in action this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Paired with good friend Michael Lund, Perez fired an opening round 69 at Monterey Peninsula on Thursday.

After opening with four straight pars, Perez went birdie-bogey-birdie on holes five through seven. Another bogey on nine had him back to even at the turn, but a few big holes on the back nine got Perez back to two-under.

Perez picked up a birdie on the par-three eleventh and another on the par-four thirteenth, before closing out with five straight pars.

Next up, a shot at Pebble Beach Golf Links and an early Friday tee time. Follow the live leaderboard, PP’s scorecard and ShotTracker all week from Northern California.

“Perez & Hartford Prove Opposites Attract”

Some great ink from GolfWeek.com’s Jim McCabe, explaining the long-standing friendship and working relationship between PGA Tour professional Pat Perez and caddy Mike Hartford.

“PGA Tour’s Perez, Hartford Prove Opposites Attract”
by Jim McCabe, GolfWeek.com

Aristotle pondered it eons ago (“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies”), and it has been explored, defined, romanticized and celebrated since. Even by “The Greatest.” “Friendship,” Muhammad Ali once said, “is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

Putting stock in Ali’s words, let us salute two PGA Tour gents who long ago proved that they hold Ph.D.s when it came to the study of friendship. Having met as teenagers nearly 25 years ago, Pat Perez and Mike Hartford – their personalities at different ends of the spectrum – remain in tandem.

“To me, they’re just completely different persons, so how they’ve kept this friendship for so long is just a mystery to me,” said Jon Robertson, who coached a Torrey Pines High School golf team in the 1990s that included the talented-though volatile Perez and the quiet-but-determined Hartford.

Admiring Perez (“One of the most hilarious kids ever”) and Hartford (“There isn’t a better human being than that guy”) for what they are, Robertson marvels at the story. Teammates then, teammates today, because as they take on the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open this week at Torrey Pines, where their friendship was cemented many years ago, Hartford has been the only caddie Perez has employed in his PGA Tour career.

He knows you think you know Pat Perez, 37, as a combustible enigma. But Mike Hartford knows you’re wrong.

“It should be obvious to people that if I’ve been working for him for all these years, he’s got to be a good dude,” said Hartford, 39, who was a year ahead in high school and joined with Perez for the 2001 Buy.com Tour season.

A year later, they were on the PGA Tour, and though there has been just one victory – the 2009 Bob Hope Classic – there has been consistency. Perez has maintained his card for 12 consecutive seasons, earned $14.4 million and piled up 41 top 10s.

“He’s a lot better than people realize,” Hartford said. “He’s matured. He’s trustworthy and honest to a fault. He keeps me laughing.”Golf confounds. Pro golf gnaws at your gut. Opinions, of course, and so is this: The Perez-Hartford friendship is a beautiful thing, made so because in their own unique ways, they handle the rigors of competition by staying true to themselves and feeding off each other’s commitment.

“This guy has been with me through thick and thin, every step of the way,” Perez said. “He’d be with me whether I won 25 times or just the once. He’s loyal beyond belief.” Perez pauses, then adds: “How many players out here can say they once worked for their caddie?”

As a teenager, Hartford started a landscaping business and offered Perez a job. “He was my fastest worker. He used to practically jog behind the mower.” The furious pace was Perez’s nature, yes, but it had a purpose. The sooner he finished, the sooner he was able to hit balls or get onto Torrey Pines. Hartford understood. Golf connected them. So, too, did this: In an area saturated with private-club teenagers, Perez and Hartford were blue-collar kids who earned their playing privileges through hard work.

This is now: When his round is over or practice is done for the day, Perez is not likely to charge into “player dining,” especially at those clubhouses where the “No caddies” sign is hung. More often, Perez will head into town with Hartford to grab lunch or dinner.

“He doesn’t like the ‘No caddie’ signs,” Hartford said.

This was then: Having shown up at LaCosta just to watch PGA Tour and Champions Tour players combine for an end of-year event back in the early 1990s, 16-year-old Perez was offered the chance to be a marker alongside Gibby Gilbert.

“Can you get my clubs?” Perez asked Hartford, and the loyal friend stepped out of character. “If everyone drove like Mike, we wouldn’t need cops,” Perez said, but Hartford concedes he broke the speed limit for the only time ever.

Returning with Perez’s clubs, Hartford heard Gilbert remark, “Kid, you just better keep up.” Hartford laughed. “He didn’t know that, one, Pat was good, and, two, Pat was fast.” Perez beat Gilbert, who also couldn’t maintain the pace.

Equal as friends but not quite in golf, “Pat was always better,” said Hartford, though he is somewhat modest. While Perez went on to Arizona State, then right into pro golf, Hartford played at the University of California at San Diego and was NCAA Division III Freshman of the Year. Perez, however, had the goods. He left Tiger Woods in the dust when he won the World Junior in 1993 and two weeks later he won the Maxfli PGA Junior in Pinehurst, N.C.

“A prodigious talent, a big reputation,” Robertson said. “Maybe he rubbed some coaches the wrong way, but I knew Pat on an everyday basis. You knew where you stood with Pat; when he was on plane, he was a great kid, not full of himself.”

More than 20 years later, Robertson cannot separate Perez from Hartford, or Hartford from Perez. To him, they are an entry, polar opposites, but as one, even down to the fact they both reside in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Mike was a serious kid, a great student, straight A’s,” Robertson said, “and Pat, well, he wasn’t much of a student. He was a live wire. He wanted to be on Tour.” He pauses, then says that above all there is this: “Pat could make Mike laugh like no one else, and I think to them, their friendship runs deeper than the business end of things. I think each other’s strengths fill up each other’s deficiencies.”

Perez: 11th At Waste Management Phoenix Open

Pat Perez remains on a west coast tear, though the 13-year PGA Tour pro understandably isn’t focused on the silver lining Sunday afternoon.

Entering the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Perez was five off the lead and went on a tear, birdying five of his first six final-round holes.

After starting birdie-par, Perez tore off four straight birdies and got to fifteen-under on the afternoon, but carded bogeys on the par-three seventh and par-four eighth. Six pars followed, before a rough stretch on #15, #16, and #17—three straight bogeys—before a par on #18.

In the end, the long way back to even as Perez wrapped Sunday’s final round with a 71.

Perez opened the event 65-68 and put together a hard-fought round of 70 on Saturday, where the putts simply didn’t fall late. Still, Perez played himself back into contention early on Sunday before things unraveled late.

Perez earned 11th place outright and a $155,000 check for the effort, as well as 75 FedExCup points.

Coupled with a T2nd finish at the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend and a T8th to start the season at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Perez is off to a blazing start—having early $761,091 on the season, jumping from 26th to 22nd on the money list—and rising from 27th to 22nd in FedExCup points after another strong showing.

Next up, a return to AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, followed by the Northern Trust Open.