Tuesday , February 23, 2016

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. 

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