Monday , March 30, 2015

T20th Finish For Perez At Valero Texas Open

Pat Perez caught the bad wave on Thursday morning at TPC San Antonio, but fought through Friday, made the cut and went three-under over the weekend en route to a T20th finish at the Valero Texas Open

With winds in excess of 30 miles per hour on Thursday and a 7:40 a.m. tee time, Perez fired an opening-round 79—as part of a morning wave where 23 players failed to break 80 and the scoring average for that group was 78.61; which would’ve been higher had there not been a handful of mid-round withdrawals. 

Perez opened Thursday’s round with consecutive pars before a bogey on the par-three third. After hitting in the water, Perez took a drop and left his third shot five feet from the cup, where he tapped in for four. 

On the par-four fifth, Perez an eight footer for four caught a gust a blew wide, leaving and eight-incher for five. Three pars followed before Perez’s shot of the tournament—a 72-foot birdie chip-in out of the left rough on the par-four ninth—leaving him plus-one at the turn. 

Like several others in the early wave, the back nine played brutal and Perez carded five bogeys as the wind howled, though back-to-back pars on 17 and 18 stopped the bleeding en route to 78.

On Friday, a blazing start as Perez went birdie-birdie out the gate, teeing off early afternoon. The day’s first bogey occurred on the par-three thirteenth, after a 205-yard tee shot found the left green side bunker. Perez chipped up from 78 feet out, leaving a seven-footer for par, but the putt ran wide and a three-footer was needed for four.

Another bogey occurred on the par-three sixteenth, but Perez bounced back with a birdie on the par-four seventeenth— sticking an 82-yard shot to within 18-inches after a 278-yard drive to the left fairway.

The front nine was all about endurance and survival, with the cut line hovering at plus-six and Perez at even on the day after a bogey on the par-three third. From there it was par-par before a birdie on the par-four sixth and three consecutive pars to close on the round at one under and back at plus-five entering the weekend.

Perez delivered his best round of the week on Saturday with a “moving day” 69—where things got quiet after an opening-hole birdie on No. 10, with Perez making on par eight of the next nine holes. 

Even after ten, a stretch where Perez would card four birdies over seven holes—the final coming on the par-five eighth after bogeying No. 7—putting him at three-under on the day. 

On Sunday an opening hole bogey was quickly negated with back-to-back birdies on holes three and four. Perez rolled in a 32-footer on the par-three third and followed up with a 39-foot chip-in on the par-four fourth. 

Five consecutive pars followed before a bogey-bogey stretch at the turn. Plus-one with nine to play, Perez went par-par before birdying the par-five fourteenth. After hitting his drive 262 yards to the right fairway and his second shot 202 yards to the left fairway, Perez sent his third shot 112 yards to the green, leaving a 10-footer for four. 

Perez went bogey-par on 15 and 16, but got one back on the par-four seventeenth knocking down a five-footer after sending his second shot 91 yards onto the green.

On the 72nd hole of the tournament—one final test of endurance as Perez has to negotiate one last native area and faced a nerve-wracking eight-footer for five; the difference between T20th and T26th. 

The T20th finish moved Perez up seven spots in the FedExCup Standings—from 69th to 62nd entering this week’s Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston

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