Perez Gearing Up For Shell Houston Open

Pat Perez migrated east after a T20th finish at the Valero Texas Open and will play one more in the Lone Star State, gearing up for this week’s Shell Houston Open.

Perez has little history in Houston, only playing the event seven times over the past twelve seasons. His most recent outing at the Golf Club of Houston took place in 2013 where he finished T27 and T12 the year before. His best career finish at the event was a T8th wrap-up in 2008

Perez didn’t play the event in 2014, 2007, 2006, or his rookie season of 2002, as well as 2009 and 2003, when Augusta and The Masters were on the books a week later. Missed cuts came in 2010, 2005 and 2004, while Perez withdrew after one round in 2011 due to injury.

The Golf Club of Houston is a par 72, Rees Jones-designed course measuring 7,441 yards, with Jones working to preserve the natural lakes and wetlands throughout the layout. 

Tee times have been announced for this year’s Shell Houston Open and Perez is going off No. 1 at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, where he’s paired with John Huh and Steve Wheatcroft. Friday’s go-time is 1:30 p.m., off of No. 10.  

T20th Finish For Perez At Valero Texas Open

Pat Perez caught the bad wave on Thursday morning at TPC San Antonio, but fought through Friday, made the cut and went three-under over the weekend en route to a T20th finish at the Valero Texas Open

With winds in excess of 30 miles per hour on Thursday and a 7:40 a.m. tee time, Perez fired an opening-round 79—as part of a morning wave where 23 players failed to break 80 and the scoring average for that group was 78.61; which would’ve been higher had there not been a handful of mid-round withdrawals. 

Perez opened Thursday’s round with consecutive pars before a bogey on the par-three third. After hitting in the water, Perez took a drop and left his third shot five feet from the cup, where he tapped in for four. 

On the par-four fifth, Perez an eight footer for four caught a gust a blew wide, leaving and eight-incher for five. Three pars followed before Perez’s shot of the tournament—a 72-foot birdie chip-in out of the left rough on the par-four ninth—leaving him plus-one at the turn. 

Like several others in the early wave, the back nine played brutal and Perez carded five bogeys as the wind howled, though back-to-back pars on 17 and 18 stopped the bleeding en route to 78.

On Friday, a blazing start as Perez went birdie-birdie out the gate, teeing off early afternoon. The day’s first bogey occurred on the par-three thirteenth, after a 205-yard tee shot found the left green side bunker. Perez chipped up from 78 feet out, leaving a seven-footer for par, but the putt ran wide and a three-footer was needed for four.

Another bogey occurred on the par-three sixteenth, but Perez bounced back with a birdie on the par-four seventeenth— sticking an 82-yard shot to within 18-inches after a 278-yard drive to the left fairway.

The front nine was all about endurance and survival, with the cut line hovering at plus-six and Perez at even on the day after a bogey on the par-three third. From there it was par-par before a birdie on the par-four sixth and three consecutive pars to close on the round at one under and back at plus-five entering the weekend.

Perez delivered his best round of the week on Saturday with a “moving day” 69—where things got quiet after an opening-hole birdie on No. 10, with Perez making on par eight of the next nine holes. 

Even after ten, a stretch where Perez would card four birdies over seven holes—the final coming on the par-five eighth after bogeying No. 7—putting him at three-under on the day. 

On Sunday an opening hole bogey was quickly negated with back-to-back birdies on holes three and four. Perez rolled in a 32-footer on the par-three third and followed up with a 39-foot chip-in on the par-four fourth. 

Five consecutive pars followed before a bogey-bogey stretch at the turn. Plus-one with nine to play, Perez went par-par before birdying the par-five fourteenth. After hitting his drive 262 yards to the right fairway and his second shot 202 yards to the left fairway, Perez sent his third shot 112 yards to the green, leaving a 10-footer for four. 

Perez went bogey-par on 15 and 16, but got one back on the par-four seventeenth knocking down a five-footer after sending his second shot 91 yards onto the green.

On the 72nd hole of the tournament—one final test of endurance as Perez has to negotiate one last native area and faced a nerve-wracking eight-footer for five; the difference between T20th and T26th. 

The T20th finish moved Perez up seven spots in the FedExCup Standings—from 69th to 62nd entering this week’s Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston

74-72 Misses Cut At Arnold Palmer Invitational

Pat Perez carded five birdies over his last nineteen holes, but two bogeys and a double on Friday will keep him from seeing the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

This marks the second cut Perez has missed at Bay Hill in a dozen starts and breaks a streak of eight consecutive cuts made, dating back to last November. Next up for Perez, a trek back to the Lone Star State for back-to-back events; the Valero Texas Open and Shell Houston Open

Perez closed Thursday’s round in Orlando with a final-hole birdie, on the heels of 11 straight pars and the mojo appeared to carry over to Friday’s early-morning tee time by way of a birdie on the par-four tenth.

Perez’s first shot of the day flew 273 yards to the left fairway and he followed up with a 137-yard second shot, leaving a 12-footer which he dropped for three. A 14-foot birdie attempt on the par-five twelfth came up two feet short, keeping Perez at one-under after three. 

Water hazards had their way on a few occasions, the first taking place on the the par-four thirteenth. After hitting his tee shot to the left fairway. Perez’s second shot found the water. After taking a drop in the right fairway, his fourth shot flew 84 yards to the green and a 10-footer for bogey ran two feet wide, leaving a tap-in for six.

After going par-bogey over the next two, Perez got one back on the par-five sixteenth—starting with a 305-yard drive to the right fairway and brilliant 208-yard shot to the green. Perez almost knocked down the 16-foot eagle putt, settling for a half-foot tap in for four.

Three consecutive pars were followed by a birdie-par-birdie run that had Perez one-under on the day and two strokes from the cut line. A 222-yard tee shot on the par-three second left Perez a 15-footer for birdie, which he dropped and the par-five fourth left a five-footer for three, even after a 280-yard tee shot wound up in the right rough.

Perez went for broke on the par-five sixth, but again found the water. A 278-yard tee shot landed in the right fairway, but a 256-yard second shot got wet, forcing a left fairway drop and eventual 60-footer for par. Perez eventually drained the six-footer for six, but was back to even on the day and three strokes off the cut line with three to play.

Three pars closed on the front nine, with Perez finishing even and two-over on the week, while the cut line moved to two-under by day’s end. 

Stats-wise, Perez averaged 278.7 yards driving distance, 57.14-percent in driving accuracy and 66.67-percent in greens-in-regulation. 

 

Perez Rebounds After Rough Start At API

After a three-week layoff, there was definitely some rust early on this afternoon as Pat Perez took on Bay Hill in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Perez bogeyed three of his first six holes, but quickly took control, rattling off 11 consecutive pars, before a birdie on No. 18 brought him back to plus-two on the day.

After tapping in a 15-inch par putt on the opening hole, Perez bogeyed the par-three second—the result of a 244-yard tee shot to the left intermediate, leaving an eventual 16-foot par putt that ran a foot too long. 

Back-to-back pars ensued before a bogey on the par-four fifth. Perez hit his tee shot 239 yards to the right fairway and his second shot 147 yards to the green, leaving a 42-footer for birdie. Perez’s third shot left him a nine-footer for par and he went on to three-putt the hole en route to plus-two after five.

Insult to injury came on the par-five sixth, where Perez found the water on his second shot, after a 290-yard tee shot to the right fairway. Perez took a drop and hit his fourth shot 226 yards to the right fairway, leaving a 72-footer for par.

Facing a 20-footer for bogey, Perez quickly regrouped and avoided double with his longest putt of the afternoon—stopping the bleeding and immediately changing the course of the afternoon, playing the next twelve holes one-under.

Perez left himself a four-footer for birdie on the par-three seventh, shaking off back-to-back-bogeys immediately. On the par-four eighth, a 33-foot birdie putt came up a foot short, leaving an easy tap-in.

While the pars were plentiful on the back nine, several birdie opportunities were out there, but not capitalized on. A 16-footer on No. 10 stopped half a foot short, a 15-footer on No. 12 was four inches wide and a 27-footer on the par-five sixteenth came up about three inches short. 

A birdie on the par-four eighteenth closed the day on an up note, with Perez sticking his second shot 160 yards to the green, where he knocked down the four-footer for three.

Perez averaged 304 yards driving distance on the day, had a driving accuracy percentage of 64.29 and was 83.33-percent in greens-in-regulation. 

Friday’s tee time is set for 7:35 a.m. ET, where Perez will go off No. 10 and will again be paired with Freddie Jacobsen and Andres Gonzales.  

Perez At Bay Hill For Arnold Palmer Invitational

After playing six-in-a-row on the west coast and taking three off to regroup, Pat Perez is back in action at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida. 

Perez enters this week 62nd in FedExCup standings and 166th in overall World Golf Rankings, both of which look to improve in the coming weeks as Perez will play San Antonio and Houston, needing big-time finishes in order to earn a trip to Augusta—his last Masters appearance coming in 2009. 

Over the past 13 seasons, Perez has played the Bay Hill Invitational 12 times—not qualifying in ’04 after a rough start to the year. To date he’s missed one cut (2012) and his best finish is T4th (2009). Top 10 finishes were achieved early in his career, going T9th as a rookie in 2002 and following up with a T10th in 2003. 

Other finishes to date; T67th (2014), T50th (2013), T38th (2011), T40th (2010), T31st (2008), T28th (2007), T34th (2006) and T44th (2005). 

Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a par 72 and 7,419 yards long. This year’s purse is $6.3-million, with the winner taking home $1,134,000 and 500 FedExCup points. 

The legendary Arnold Palmer called the Dick Wilson design the “best course in Florida” back in 1965, with him eventually setting up shop in the vicinity.

The PGA Tour got on board in 1979, relocating the old Florida Citrus Open to what is currently known as “Arnie’s Place” and the event has since generated over $16-million for The Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation, which oversees the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, dating back to 1987, when Palmer dedicated tournament proceedings towards a new facility.  

Opening round tee times will be announced on Tuesday and Perez’s pro-am go-time on Wednesday is 1:30 p.m. ET. 

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