Opening Round 72 For Perez At Honda Classic

Pat Perez is back in action at this week’s Honda Classic—his first since 2007—and fired an opening-round 72 at PGA National. Perez was one-under at the turn before giving a few back on the back nine. 

Going off of No. 1 at 8:05 a.m. ET on Thursday, Perez bogeyed the opening hole after hitting his tee shot to the right rough and second shot to the left green side bunker. Staring down a nine-footer for par, Perez left the putt two feet short and carded a five.

Perez saved par on No. 2, knocking down a nine-footer after hitting his tee shot to the right intermediate and second shot to the front left green side bunker.

From there, he settled in and birdied the par-five third—hitting his tee shot 306 yards to the right fairway, his second shot 229 yards to the green and setting up the 3.5-foot birdie putt, after an eagle attempt ran long. 

Back at even, Perez strung together back-to-back pars—tapping in a three-footer on the par-four fourth and a 4.5-foot putt on the par-three fifth.

A nine-foot par putt ran long and wide on the par-four sixth; Perez’s second shot 179 yards to the green, but a would-be 43-foot birdie putt ran past the cup, eventually setting up the one-foot tap-in for five.

Perez responded, hitting his tee shot 191 yards on the free on the par-three seventh, followed by an 11.4-foot birdie putt that got him back to even. A nine-foot par putt dropped on the par-four eighth, giving Perez some momentum going into the par-four ninth.

After hitting his tee shot 268 yards to the right fairway, Perez dropped his second shot 173 yards onto the free, leaving a 22-foot birdie putt which he rolled in, putting him at one-under at the turn.

Perez missed a six-footer for birdie on the par-four tenth, setting up a three-footer for four. From there the first of a few rough spots that set him back. 

The par-four eleventh was playing as the second-hardest hole and after a 283-yard shot to the left fairway, a 176-yard shot to the left fairway and a 56-foot shot to the green, Perez was staring down a 15-footer for par that went long and wide, setting up the four-foot bogey putt. 

Back-to-back pars ensued, before the day’s toughest-playing hole—the par-four fourteenth—did it’s best to hijack a would-be solid opening round.

Perez hit his tee shot 259 yards to the left fairway, but his second shot pulled right and the 203-yard effort found the water. A penalty stroke and drop in the right rough had Perez hitting his fourth shot 62 yards to the green, setting up a 16-foot bogey putt that went wide. He eventually dropped a 3.6-footer for double.

On the par-three fifteenth, Perez’s tee shot went 170 yards to the green but his 40-foot birdie putt rolled long, leaving a 6.7-footer for par that came up three inches short.

Perez responded with a 241-yard tee shot on the par-four sixteenth and a 186-yard second shot to the right rough, before almost holing out for birdie from 85 feet out—leaving his third shot six inches from the cup, setting up the par tap-in.

With two to play, Perez managed to steal one back on the par-three seventeenth, hitting his tee shot 169 yards to the green before brilliantly rolling in a 28-footer for birdie, getting him back to plus-two on the day.

Perez hit his tee shot 273 yards on the par-five eighteenth, but a 253-yard second shot found the fairway bunker, setting up a 66-yard third shot that found the green, but had him staring down a 20-foot birdie putt that came up short. Perez knocked down the three-footer for par and closed out an opening round 72.

Perez averaged 277 yards driving distance, hit 66.67-percent greens-in-regulation, had a driving accuracy percentage of 78.57, was 50-percent scrambling and 0.01 in strokes gained putting.

As of 5:00 p.m. ET, Perez is currently six strokes off the lead and T65.

Friday’s second round gets underway at 1:05 p.m. ET, where Perez will go off of No. 10 and will again be paired with Tony Finau and Paul Casey.

IN OTHER NEWS: An unofficial South Florida CHIVE meet-up is taking place Friday February 26th at PGA National in the form of a free concert by Joe Bachman and The Tailgaters. The show kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET.

“The Tailgaters”—theCHIVE official house band, with ties to the annual Murray Brothers’ official Caddyshack golf tournament in St. Augustine, Florida—is headlining this week’s event in Palm Beach Gardens, while Perez—a long-time CHIVER and current endorsee of the William Murray Golf apparel line—will be in attendance with CHIVE Nation on Friday night. 

Perez Playing First Honda Classic Since 2007

Pat Perez is back in action at this week’s Honda Classic in South Florida—and no, that isn’t a typo. In 14 previous seasons on the PGA Tour, Perez has only played this event five times. The reason? Nothing more than timing and logistics. 

Perez is one of few Tour pros who gets on board early in the west coast swing (Honolulu) and rides it all the way to the end (Pacific Palisades), hitting every stop in-between (Palm Springs, San Diego, Phoenix and Pebble Beach.) 

After six events in a row. West Palm Beach is generally off Perez’s radar by default; with him back in action for Tampa and Orlando after a quick breather. This time around, after a slow start out west, Perez is going pedal-to-the-metal and hoping a few days at PGA National is the remedy to jump start his season.

Perez only played the Champion Course once, back in 2007, where he missed the cut. Prior to that, The Honda Classic called the Country Club at Mirasol home, with Perez going feast-or-famine in four attempts—missed cuts in 2002 and 2004, followed up by a 4th place finish in 2005 and 12th in 2006. 

PGA National (Champion) is a 7,158-yard par 70 and created with major events in mind. According PGATour.com, “The original George and Tom Fazio layout took its first bow as a site of the 1983 Ryder Cup where Lanny Watkins’ birdie at No. 18 versus Jose Maria Canizares thwarted European upset hopes.”

“The Champ” also hosted the 1987 PGA Championship, won by Larry Nelson before Jack Nicklaus stepped in with a redesign in 1990—introducing the “Bear Trap” of Nos. 15, 16 and 17.

Tee times have been announced for this week’s Honda Classic and Perez landed the early / late draw, going off of No. 1 at 8:05 a.m. ET on Thursday and off No. 10 at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday. He’ll be paired with Paul Casey and Tony Finau both days. 

Television coverage of this week will be split between GolfChannel and NBC—GolfChannel providing live weekday coverage between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET (and replays in the evening.)

Weekend coverage takes place on GolfChannel from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET before switching over to NBC for 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET coverage on Saturday and Sunday. 

IN OTHER NEWS: An unofficial South Florida CHIVE meet-up is taking place Friday February 26th at PGA National in the form of a free concert by Joe Bachman and The Tailgaters. The show kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET.

“The Tailgaters”—theCHIVE official house band, with ties to the annual Murray Brothers’ official Caddyshack golf tournament in St. Augustine, Florida—is headlining this week’s event in Palm Beach Gardens, while Perez—a long-time CHIVER and current endorsee of the William Murray Golf apparel line—will be in attendance with CHIVE Nation on Friday night. 

Perez: T41 At Pebble Beach; Tee Times For Riviera

Pat Perez is back at Rivera Country Club this week for another Northern Trust Open, coming off a T41 finish at last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Perez opened with a 69 at Monterey Peninsula on Thursday, followed up with a Friday round of 71 at Pebble Beach and a Saturday showing at Spyglass resulted in a 73. Three-under after three was good enough to make the one-under cut and Perez closed with a final round 72 back at Pebble on Sunday. 

While the weekend run in Northern California couldn’t compete with last year’s T4 finish (and pro-am victory with partner Michael Lund), it proved to be a slump-buster for Perez, who missed cuts by a single stroke in Palm Springs and San Diego, before missing by two in Phoenix. 

Regarding Perez’s run over the years at in the Pacific Palisades, the PGA Tour veteran has played Riviera Country Club each of the past 14 seasons, only missing the cut twice.

Perez’s best finish at the former Nissan Open was 8th in 2007; second to that was T13 in 2012. Outside of that T23 (2002), T30 (2009), T32 (2003), T36 (2008), T51 (2013), T51 (2013), T58 (2005), T74 (2004), 75 (2014) and T77 (2006).

Perez wrapped the Northern Trust T41 last season and missed cuts in 2010 and 2011. 

Riviera Country Club—which opened in 1927—is a 7,322-yard par 71. According to PGATour.com, “Designer George Thomas labored over 15 possible layouts before decision on the on the one that features some of the TOUR’s most iconic holes. The par-3 sixth is famed for its bunker in the middle of the green and No. 10 may have the best drivable par-4 in golf.” 

The Los Angeles Open first arrived in 1929 and three famed wins by Ben Hogan in an 18-month span (two L.A Opens and the 1948 U.S. Open) earned Riviera the nickname “Hogan’s Alley”. 

Tee times have been announced for this week’s event, with Perez getting the late / early draw—going off No. 10 at 11:30 a.m. PT on Thursday and No 1 at 6:50 a.m. PT on Friday. He will be paired with Robert Allenby and Blayne Barber both days. 

Television coverage will be handled by the GolfChannel from 2:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday and Friday. Weekend coverage will be split, with GolfChannel taking the early shift (10:00 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. PT) on Saturday and Sunday, with late coverage switching to CBS from noon to 3:30 p.m. PT both days. 

Perez Gearing Up For Chivetastic Phoenix Open

Pat Perez is back home in Scottsdale and is gearing up for another rowdy WasteManagement Phoenix Open. Perez is playing the event for the fifteenth season in a row and looks to get back on track after a few missed cuts to start the 2016 PGA Tour season. 

Perez is coming off a T26 finish at TPC Scottsdale last January. Prior to that, a career-best 11th place run in 2014. After missing the cut six times at the event—starting with his rookie season and running through 2007—Perez’s improvement at the hometown event was noticeable. 

T43 (2008) and T48 (2009) got things rolling and from there T24 (2010), T22 (2011) and T19 (2012) followed. 

Off-the-course it appears that Perez’s friendship and alignment with lifestyle brand and entertainment website theCHIVE has gone official as the Tour veteran was seen sporting a William Murray logo on his apparel and Callaway Golf bag. Perez has also ramped up social media efforts the past few days, as has theCHIVE in regards to the partnership. 

On the range Tuesday afternoon Perez was asked by national media members and Tour folks if this meant he was officially in business with acton and icon Bill Murray.

Perez offered up a solid “Maybe”, followed by a wry smile before walking away. 

Arizona’s local CHIVE Chapter has been vocal, as well—launching a group referencing “The Pat Perez Mob” that will be at TPC all week, supporting their favorite brand’s new endorsee. 

TPC Scottsdale (Stadium) is a 7,266-yard par 71 and this marks the venue’s thirtieth year as the tournament’s home. Over 400,000 fans are expected to come through the gates this week, with over 20,000 packing in the “Coliseum” surrounding the par-3 16th hole. 

Thunderbird Charities topped the $100M mark in charitable giving since the host organization was formed in 1937 and the 2015 event produced over $9M for Arizona charities, with monies sprinkled amongst 200 outlets in recent years.

Tee times have been announced for this year’s event, with Perez earning the early / late draw. Paired with Patrick Rodgers and Whee Kim, Perez will go off of No. 10 at 8:51 a.m. on Thursday and off of No. 1 at 1:01 p.m. on Friday—getting him to No. 16 right around happy hour. 

Tune in for all the latest from TPC Scottsdale this week.