Thursday , January 30, 2014

“Perez Stays Hot In Phoenix”

Some solid ink from Brian Wacker at on Thursday afternoon after Pat Perez went six-under for an opening-round 65 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pat Perez says people still bring up his meltdown from 12 years ago at Pebble Beach, where he was in contention on the back nine until a couple of mental blunders that led to him tomahawking a club into the ground multiple times.

“That was my fourth event ever,” he said. “That’s who I was then. I’m not that now.

“When I hit bad shots, now instead of just getting mad, I actually know why the shot was bad. Now I will go and actually reflect on what caused that. I’m trying to teach myself while I’m playing now.”

Perez didn’t have many bad ones on Thursday, shooting a 6-under 65 to put him one back in the opening round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He made just one bogey—on the par-5 third—before bouncing back with seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch, including five in a row in the middle of his round.

This also marks the second straight week that Perez finds himself in contention.

He had a chance to win Sunday at Torrey Pines until a couple of bogeys on the back nine, including one on the par-3 16th. He shot 74 and tumbled into a tie for 21st.

Perez admitted he had trouble sleeping that night—upset that he lost—but the parties following his hometown event continued and carried over to this week in Scottsdale, where he played in college.

All the while he tried to pull the positives from the experience. An offseason of change—new coach, new equipment, new fiancee—seem to have helped.

“I should have had a chance to birdie that hole to win the tournament,” Perez said. “But I was also extremely pleased at how I could take some changes like that and play that golf course and be in contention late Sunday.

“Whatever happens, you just move forward from it and try not to make the mistake again or just learn from it or just basically move on. That’s what I’m trying to do with a lot of things: just move on from things.”

So far, it’s working.

In three starts in 2014, Perez has missed just one cut, finished in the top 10 in another, and has had a chance to win two other times, including this week.

“I got tired of being tired of being tired,” he said. “I’m just at a different point in my life. I’m at peace now. That guy, that kid at 24 is kind of gone now.”

AT 5:11 pm No Comments
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