Sunday , March 23, 2014

Perez: Rough For T67th Finish At Bay Hill

Consistency was the name of the game for Pat Perez three of four days at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Perez strung together three straight rounds of 70 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday—full of birdies, occasional bogeys and countless solid pars.

Six-under entering Sunday, the stage was set for a quality finish—which remained in play at the turn, but fell apart on the back nine.

Saturday’s run included a five-hole, four-birdie stretch, getting Perez to three-under just after the turn. From there, back-to-back bogeys on fourteen and fifteen were followed by a birdie-par-par finish.

Come Sunday, Perez was the model of consistency early on. A bogey on the par-three second was the lone setback. Besides that, eight solid pars had Perez plus-one at the turn.

The back nine proved to be a different story. Perez carded a double bogey on the par-four tenth and followed up with a bogey on eleven. Back-to-back pars ensued, before three straight bogey on fourteen, fifteen and sixteen.

Perez went on to par seventeen, but took an eight on the par-four eighteenth—putting his second shot the water, taking a penalty, hitting into the rear-side bunker and three-putting once on the green.

Perez averaged 283.6 yards in driving distance, 64.29% in driving accuracy and 62.50% in greens in regulation. The final round 83 earned Perez a T67th finish in Orlando, with San Antonio and the Valero Texas Open on deck.

Proof of the course’s final round toughness—Perez was 1-of-18 players to shoot four-over, or worse on Sunday. Adam Scott—who tied a tournament record with an opening-round 62—shot a final round 76, losing to eventual winner Matt Every by two strokes. 

After twelve events on the season, Perez is now 36th in FedExCup standings, 31st on the Official Money List, has topped the $1M by late March and is T15th regarding Top Ten finishes this season with three. 

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