Sunday , February 15, 2015

Perez Finishes T4 At Pebble Beach; Wins Pro-Am

While it’s only mid-February and there’s still a ton of golf to play, veteran PGA Tour player Pat Perez appears to be “back”—and also looks like he’s having fun, both off- and on-the-course.

Perez wrapped the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a T4th finish on Sunday, shooting a final round 68. Perez birdied six of his first eight holes, got to -19 and was briefly tied for the lead before a tough four-hole stretch.

Perez quickly stopped the bleeding, picked up a late birdie and finished four-under on the day—earning his best finish since T2nd at last year’s Farmer’s Insurance Open.

Equally as exciting for Perez, earning the pro-am title for his friend Michael Lund, who he’s teamed with at Pebble Beach the past four outings. Perez and Lund—an eight handicap—finished 42-under on the week and held on to win by two strokes, leading by three entering the day. 

After opening the week with a 66 at Pebble Beach and a 68 at Monterey Peninsula, Perez put together a clutch 68 at Spyglass on Saturday—his best career round on the challenging course—followed by today’s 68 in this week’s second crack at Pebble. 

Perez opened the final round with a 27-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and on the par-five second, a 50-foot chip left him a four-foot birdie putt which he knocked in.

On No. 3, an eight-footer rolled in for birdie and after a par on No. 4, another eight-footer on the par-three fifth. A 24-foot birdie putt dropped on the par-five sixth and on the par-four eighth, a 199-yard second shot left Perez a three-footer for three.

Back-to-back shots to the left rough left Perez an eight-footer for par on No. 9, which missed and a similar situation on No. 10, when Perez had to punch out of the rough and couldn’t knock down another eight-foot par putt—though he responded with a nine-foot par putt on the par-four eleventh. 

The day’s final bogey came on the par-three twelfth, where Perez’s tee shot flew 193 yards to the front center green side bunker. He chipped up and faced a 15-foot par putt, which was short and he knocked in the two-footer for four. 

Three consecutive par putts followed before Perez got one back on the par-four sixteenth. After hitting his tee shot 250 yards to the left rough, he his his second shot 160 yards to the green and knocked down a sixteen-footer for three. 

Perez went for the pin on the par-three seventeenth, hit the flag and landed on the fringe, where a birdie opportunity came up half a foot short.

On the par-five eighteenth, Perez’s tee shot went 224 yards to the right fairway and his third shot leaving a 24-footer for birdie that rolled wide. He went on to knock down the two-footer for par and immediate began coaching-up Lund on the final put that gave the team a two-stroke victory. 

The T4th finished moved Perez from 77th to 44th in the new FedExCup standings—something he’ll look to improve upon this coming week at the Northern Trust Open.

Perez has played all five west coast events and will finish a six-week run in Los Angeles this week, before taking a few weeks off and returning for the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook. 

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