Thursday , April 16, 2015

Pat Perez Opens With 69 At RBC Heritage

Pat Perez got off to a fast start, maintained midway through, traded blows late and closed strong en route to a 69 in the opening round of the RBC Heritage.

The late morning tee time helped Perez avoid the rain, but the wind howled and made for another occasion where even par proved to be a solid score—currently T35th, while Perez and those two-under have moved up to T9th. 

Perez opened with a par on No. 10, before finding trouble on the par-four eleventh. After catching the tree with his drive, Perez had to punch his second shot 69 yards to the left rough. On the green in three, Perez faced a 34-footer for par and eventually knocked down a four-footer for bogey. 

Undeterred, a string of three birdies followed. Perez chipped in from 25 feet out on the par-four twelfth, knocked down a 15-foot par putt on the par-four thirteenth and hit his tee shot 191 yards to the green on the par-three fourteenth, rolling in a seven-footer for two. 

Seven consecutive pars followed, as Perez treaded water as birdie opportunities were few and far between; outside of a potential five-footer at the par-five second, that Perez appeared to have misread. 

Perez carded his second bogey of the day on the par-three fourth, facing an 11-footer for par and running it both wide and long, leaving a two-footer for four. As he’s done often this year, Perez immediately got one back a hole later, birdying the par-five fifth.

After hitting his tee shot 270 yards to the right rough, Perez responded with a 26-yard punch-out to the right fairway and sent his third shot 263 yards to the green, setting up a 12-foot birdie, which he rolled in for four.

On the par-four sixth, another bogey, where Perez stared down an eight-footer for par, sent it wide and tapped in from a half-foot out for five.

Back-to-back pars ensued—including a clutch six-footer on the par-four eight to stay at one-under on the round, before setting up the shot of the day on the par-four ninth.

After hitting his tee shot 219 yards to the right fairway, Perez almost holed out from 113 yards, leaving his shot four inches from the cup and tapping in for a final-hole birdie and one for the highlight reels.

Perez averaged 280 yards driving distance on the day, was 64.29-percent in driving accuracy, 55.56-percent in greens-in-regulation and 0.624 in strokes gained – putting. 

Perez drew the late tee time on Thursday, but will be first off of No. 1 tomorrow at 7:10 a.m. ET, paired again with Carl Pettersson and Adam Hadwin.


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