Sunday , January 25, 2015

T30th Finish For Perez At Humana Challenge

Pat Perez had everything going but the putter this week in Palm Springs and the result was a T30th finish at the Humana Challenge.

Perez opened with a solid round of 66 at La Quinta on Thursday, leaving some shots out there but doing enough to go six-under. On Friday, another bogey-free round as Perez put together a four-under 68 at Nicklaus Private. 

Perez went 47 holes without a bogey, before picking up two in a three-hole span—taking place on the back nine at Palmer Private on Saturday. Same was the case in the final round, with the par-three No. 12 resulting in bogeys on both days. 

Going back to the opening round at La Quinta, Perez got off to a solid start with a birdie on the par-four first and after there consecutive pars, went birdie-birdie on back-to-back par-fives—No. 5 and No. 6. Perez then went on to birdie No. 12, No. 15 and No. 17, closing out the 66.

Friday had another quick start—birdie-par-birdie—before a nine-hole drought. During that par-heavy drought, Perez failed to capitalized on several looks at birdies; especially par-fives on No. 4 and No. 8.

Two consecutive days on Palmer Private—where Perez capture the 2009 title—were filled with missed opportunities, as well. A ten-foot birdie putt on the par-four fourth ran wide, though Perez dropped a 31-footer for two on the par-three fifth.

On the par-four eighth, another look at birdie but the 13-foot putt came up short. Again Perez responded—this time with a 23-foot drop-in for three on the par-four ninth. 

Perez got another when birdying the par-five eleventh, but missed an eleven-footer for par on No. 12 and on the par-five fourteenth, whiffed on a two-footer for par.

Both were big time setback on a day when a lot of birdie putts weren’t falling, but Perez did respond with three consecutive pars and a birdie on the par-five eighteenth—highlighted by a great up and down; hitting his third shot 91 feet out of the right green side bunker and leaving it two feet from the jar. 

Seven shots off the lead going into Sunday, a feeling that some mojo had been lost by way of too many missed opportunities over the previous three days. Perez was two down after six—carding birdies on the par-five second and sixth holes—but it was sort lived. 

After three consecutive pars, Perez went bogey-birdie-bogey after the turn, back to one-under with six to play, but got one back on the par-five eighteenth, playing the back-nine even when needing to make a charge. He finished the day averaging 283.5 yards driving distance, 75.93 in driving accuracy percentage nd 69.44 in greens in regulation percentage. 

Next up for Perez, a return to the hometown Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale—where he spent much of the offseason working with Tour pro Steve Elkington, while filming some spots for Elk’s “Rural Golfer” television program. 


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