Wednesday , October 19, 2016

Pat Perez (Finally) Back In PGA Tour Action

Pat Perez is back in action, in Malaysia gearing up for this week’s CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

While that may seem ho-hum for the average Tour pro weeks removed from the wrap-up of the FedExCup Playoffs—a completely different narrative for Perez, who come Thursday will be 237 days removed from his last competitive round. 

A fixture on the west coast, Perez rolled out with his standard six—Honolulu, Palm Springs, San Diego, Phoenix, Pebble Beach and Los Angeles—where a hot couple of weeks and fast start to the season are usually the norm.

Instead, a worrisome start—T81 at the Sony before missed cuts in the desert and home courses in San Diego and Scottsdale. Perez managed T41 in Pebble Beach (with a MDF) before another missed cut at Rivera.

In most cases, the scorecard does all the talking—but for those who saw Perez battle through a gritty third-round 69 at PGA West’s Stadium Course on a dreary Saturday last January, it was obvious the Tour veteran was hurting. 

Still, Perez forged on—signing on for a seventh consecutive event and trekking to South Florida for the Honda Classic; and event which is usually skipped after a long six-week west coast grind. An opening round 72 was followed by a 76 the following afternoon.

Perez was on the first flight back to Phoenix and after an MRI learned of torn left labrum. Surgery was scheduled within days, the recovery process was underway, his fifteenth consecutive season on Tour was shelved and the waiting game began. 

For those who follow the spirited pro on social media, it was apparent Perez wasn’t looking forward to being away. Time spent at home with friends and family was a nice bonus, but the road becomes home to players of this caliber and fellow pros, club manufacturers and Tour employees becoming a second family—almost a traveling circus of sorts. 

As much as a player might long for the comfort or their own bed or home-cooked meals—the road is calling. Early week practice rounds. Thursday and Friday competition setting up a weekend run for a paycheck. Mondays being treated as a normal person’s Saturday, before doing it all again come Tuesday.

The time off and comeback trail seemed like a daunting task eight-plus months back, but like everything else in life—time flies. Perez put in the work; standard post-op rehab than anyone would go through—but once June rolled around and it was again time to swing a club, he found another gear. 

Summer was spent off the grid in Payson, Arizona—practicing at The Rim daily; playing up to 72 holes per outing and sacking out by sundown, only to do it again the next day. It was almost akin to the classic comedy “Groundhog Day”; fitting as Perez’s had extra motivation due to a budding partnership with the legendary Bill Murray.

Perez kicked off the 2016 season with news of a partnership with the beloved actor and icon—William Murray Golf; a lifestyle brand and apparel line launched by Murray and the world’s top humor website, theCHIVE—who Perez has been aligned with socially the past few years. 

As fate would have it, hours after Perez tees is up for his first event in 33 weeks, WMG will officially launch it’s much-anticipated product line—Perez sporting some of the gear this week overseas as the line’s first-ever brand ambassador. 

Timing—as they often say—is everything.

Tee times have been announced for this week’s event, with Perez going off of No. 1 at 9:35 a.m. local time. Friday’s round has Perez off of No. 10 at 8:25 a.m.. He’ll be paired with David Hearn and Shih-chang Chan both days.  

GolfChannel will be providing live coverage of all the action from TPC Kuala Lumpur and for those trying to do the math on the time difference—the United States’ east coast is 12 hours behind. 

Regarding the William Murray Golf apparel launch—11:00 a.m. ET on Thursday October 20th is the official go-time online.

Welcome back, Double P—and welcome to the big time, Team WMG.  


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