Second Round 70; Perez In Hunt At Bay Hill

Pat Perez got off to a back-nine roll, had a few front-nine hiccups, played steady everywhere in-between and the result was a second round 70 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Friday.

Perez opened on #10 and was one-under after six—picking up a birdie on the par-five twelfth and parring five of his first six holes. From there, a quick birdie-par-birdie run had him three-under at the turn—capped by a 19’7″ drop-in on #18. 

Another steady run of pars followed—four straight—before the day’s first setback and bogey on the par-four fifth.

Perez responded with his third par-five birdie of the day, picking up another stroke on #6, sinking an eight-footer From there, a par-bogey-par finish—including a quirky last-minute break on what would’ve been a clutch, late round 28-foot birdie on the par-three seventh. 

Back-to-back rounds of 70 have Perez in position to make a Saturday charge, though leader Adam Scott remains on a tear, posting a Friday round of 68 after an opening round, tournament-tying 62. 

Tee times have been announced for Saturday’s round, where Perez is paired with Seung-Yul Noh, going off #1 at 12:10 p.m. ET.  

Perez: Opening Round 70 At Bay Hill

Pat Perez fired a respectable opening-round 70 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday. If not for a record-tying 62 by Adam Scott, Perez would sit five strokes off the lead. Instead he’s at eight entering Friday’s second round.

Perez opened with a bogey on the opening hole, leaving a par putt 20 inches short. Redemption came on the par-three second, where Perez dropped a 12-foot birdie putt, getting him back to even on the day.

Back-to-back six-footers went in for par on three and four, before a birdie on the par-four fifth—made possible by a stellar 150-yard approach shot, setting up a 10-foot birdie putt.

After pars on six and seven, another birdie on eight after another solid approach, capped with an 11-foot birdie knock-in.

A bogey-par-bogey run on nine, ten and eleven had Perez back at even, but birdies on twelve and sixteen, mixed with some clutch par putts, got him back to -2 on the day. The birdie on the par-five twelve was a foot from eagle, with a similar result on the par-five sixteenth, when a putt came up two inches short.

A par on eighteen was also a two-inch tap-in.

Stats-wse, Perez averaged 278.5 yards in driving distance, had a 64.29% driving accuracy percentage and was 77.78% in greens in regulation.

Friday’s tee time is 12:32 p.m. ET. Perez goes off #10 and is again paired with Peter Hanson and Justin Hicks.

PatPerezGolf.com: Throwback Thursday

A timely shot for this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday” at PatPerezGolf.com. With this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational underway, a pic from five years back when Pat Perez won the Bob Hope Classic and was greeted with a grin and firm handshake from Arnold Palmer on the 18th green.

Tee Times Announced For Bay Hill

Tee times have been announced for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando. Pat Perez is paired with Peter Hanson and Justin Hicks. The group goes off #1 at 7:47 a.m. ET on Thursday and #10 at 12:32 p.m. ET on Friday.

Follow the live leaderboard and ShotTracker all week from Orlando.

CBSSports.com’s Porter Picks Perez As Sleeper

CBSSports.com’s Kyle Porter isn’t worried about this week’s 80-1 odds—he picked Pat Perez as his “Sleeper” in his most-recent “Eye On Golf” column. Porter writes: 

“Perez has played great this year and has a history at Bay Hill. He finished T4 in 2009 and has only missed one cut since. This year’s numbers are even more impressive, he has three top 11s in his last five events. I could easily see him in one of the final groups on Sunday.”

Porter has Graeme McDowell picked as the winner, with Kevin Na as his Top Ten Lock of the week.

As for Perez, history is on his side at Bay Hill when coming in hot. Perez finished T4th (2009) weeks after a win at the Bob Hope.

Prior to that, a T10th finish weeks after a 6th place finish at La Quinta. In 2003, Perez finished T9th in his first ever event at Bay Hill—a month after a second place wrap-up at Pebble Beach.

When not on a roll, scores have been average—T50th (2013), T28th (2011), T40th (2010), T31st (2008), T28th (2007), T34th (2006) and T44th (2005). Perez missed the cut in 2012 and didn’t play the event in 2004. 

 

Metallica Debuts “The Lords Of Summer”

http://youtu.be/U_loVVTXdYo

Metallica debuted “The Lords Of Summer” live in Bogota on Sunday night. Can’t get a great feel from a blown-out iPhone live recording, but a lot of downpicking and rapid-fire double bass. Definitely worth checking out. Hopefully a new LP is in the works. PP

Perez Goes 77-72 Over Weekend At Innisbrook

After a blazing start with an opening round 68 and a steady 71 on Friday, Pat Perez fired a Saturday round of 77, going down instead of up on “moving day”.

Perez—continuing to fine-tune his swing early this season with new coach Joe Mayo—hung tough early, but came apart day three. Perez birdied the par-five opening hole, but followed up with a double bogey on the par-four third.

Four straight pars were followed by a bogey-par finish on the front nine and +2 at the turn. To his credit, Perez responded with a solid birdie on the par-five eleventh—knocking his third shot ten feet from the pin and dropping his fourth shot to get back to one-over.

From there, another rough stretch as Perez double-bogeyed the par-four twelfth, before a par-par-par, bogey-bogey-bogey six-over finish. With a tournament win out of reach, Sunday’s final round proved an opportunity for Perez to continue honing in swing changes.

A birdie on number one had Perez one under through three and back to even, where he stayed through the par-five fifth. A double-bogey on six and a bogey on seven put Perez at three-over, but a solid approach shot on the par-three eighth left a make-able three-footer for birdie.

Sunday’s back nine wrapped with birdies on the par-four twelfth and par-four eighteenth—the lone blemish coming in the form of a bogey on the par-four sixteenth.

Perez wrapped the Valspar Championship 68-71-77-72 for a T44th finish. Entering this week he is ranked 26th in the FedExCup standings and 102nd in the latest Official World Golf Rankings.

Next up, a short trek to Orlando for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Pat Perez Interviews & Highlights From Tampa

PGATour.com posted some Pat Perez footage from this week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Tampa, Florida. Perez shot an opening round 68, followed by a second round 71 and is tied for third entering the weekend. Robert Garrigus is seven-under and Kevin Na is in second outright at minus-four.

Friday Post-Round Interview

Thursday Post-Round Interview

Perez Hits The Pin On #17 In Round One

Perez Birdies #9 At Valspar In Round One

Perez Battles To Even On Friday In Tampa

A late tee time and top-notch conditions helped Pat Perez shoot to the top of the leaderboard on Thursday, courtesy of an opening-round 68. The tradeoff—going early on Friday and battling cooler morning temperatures windy conditions at Innisbrook.

Perez fired a hard-fought round of 71 on Friday, complete with a strong start and gritty finish, courtesy of two rough mid-round holes.

After opening with a par on #1, Perez birdied the par-four second, dropping a 14-footer to get to one-under on the day. On the par-three fourth, another long birdie putt—this time from 12-feet out—had Perez two-under on the day and five-under for the tournament. 

Disaster struck on #6 and #7, with back-to-back double bogeys on consecutive par fours—a four stroke swing, putting Perez at two-over on the day. 

Perez battled on, sinking an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-five eleventh and holing a whopping 34-chip-in on the par-three thirteenth, getting back to even on the day—where he’d stay, parring Innisbrook’s final five holes. 

**As of 5:30 p.m. ET, Perez remains tied for third at three-under, with Justin Rose and Matteo Manassero, both of which are in the clubhouse. Robert Garrigus has taken the lead at -6 while Kevin Na finished the second round -4. 

Perez: Opening Round 68 At Innisbrook

After a four-week layoff, Pat Perez picked up right where he left off, firing an opening round 68 at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Tampa on Thursday.

Having played six straight to open the winter season—netting three Top 10 finishes—Perez laid low for a month. The veteran Tour player celebrated a birthday, relaxed with friends, worked on his game and hit the ground running in his first event since mid-February’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera.

Perez opened with a bogey on the par-four tenth, missing a thirteen-footer for par. From there, back-to-back birdies helped set the tone. Perez hit driver 316 yards to the right fairway, eventually setting up a three-foot birdie putt.

On the par-four twelfth, a ten-footer fell, getting Perez to minus-two on after three. A bogey on the par-three fifteenth brought it back to even, but a perfect approach shot on #17 left Perez a two-foot tap-in for his third birdie on the day.

The front nine started with a bang, closed just as strong and featured some consistent golf in-between.

Perez birdied #1—a par-five with a key bunker shot, setting up a six-footer to back to minus-two. Seven straight pars kept the round flowing, before a 20-foot birdie putt on number nine earned a roar from the crowd—an ideal finish to a hard-fought round.

While Perez and partners Ricky Barnes and James Hahn benefitted from warmer temperatures due to Thursday’s mid-day tee time, Friday offered the complete opposite, with the trio going off #1 at 7:40 a.m. ET.

Matt Every is tied with Perez at -3, while Danny Lee (currently) holds the outright lead alone at -4.

(Update: The opening round of the Valspar Championship has wrapped. Lee gave a stroke back and three-under now leads going into Friday’s round, with Perez T1st.)