Monday , January 25, 2016

Perez Rattles Off Eight Birdies At TPC Stadium

Pat Perez strung together and eight-birdie round at PGA West Stadium on Saturday in La Quinta at the CareerBuilder Challenge, but a few late bogeys were the difference-maker as the former champion (2009) went on to miss the cut by one stroke.

Perez missed a seven-footer for par on No. 2, but bounced back with a birdie on the par-four third after rolling in a 49-footer. Back-to-back bogeys ensued; Perez hitting his tee shot into the left rough on the par-three fourth and sending a 21-foot par putt long, before rolling in the three-footer for four. 

Perez found the water on the par-five fifth hole and appeared to favor his shoulder, though he quickly bounced back with a 302-yard drive to the fairway and dropped a 16-foot bogey putt to stop the bleeding. 

Two-over on the day, Perez quickly went on a tear—birdying six of the next eight holes, getting to four-under with five to play. After rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-three sixth, Perez sank a nine-footer on the par-four seventh.

The putter stayed hot as Perez rolled in a six-footer on the par-four ninth, a 12-footer on the par-five eleventh and a seven-footer on the par-four twelfth, setting up the shot of the day on the par-three thirteenth. After hitting his tee shot 187 yards to the right rough, Perez chipped in from 72 feet out—a highlight reel shot that was blasted on Golf Channel throughout the afternoon. 

Trouble arose on the par-four fourteenth after back-to-back shots had Perez in the right rough, leaving a 14-foot par pull that ran wide. On the par-four fifteenth, a tee shot to the left rough and second shot to the front left green side bunker had Perez staring down a 23-footer for par, which missed by two feet.

Hovering on the cut line, Perez got one back on the par-three seventeenth, hitting his tee shot 151 yards to the island green and draining an eight-footer, getting him back to three-under on the day. On the par-four eighteenth, a 27-foot birdie attempt rolled wide, leaving Perez a two-footer on the comeback.

The third round 69 got Perez to eight-under on the week—set up by an opening-round 69 at La Quinta and second round 70 at PGA West Nicklaus on Friday—but the cut moved to nine-under soon after Perez’s Saturday round wrapped. 

Perez averaged 296 yards driving distance on the day, had a driving accuracy percentage of 59.52, hit 59.26-percent greens-in-regulation, was 68.18-percent scrambling and 2.19 in strokes gained putting. 

Next up for Perez; a return home to San Diego and Torrey Pines for the annual Farmers Insurance Open.


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