Pat Perez entered the final round one-shot behind 54-leader Jonathan Byrd, but faltered on Sunday, dropping to a tie for sixth after shooting 75. Other than kicking off the day with a birdie on the first, Perez quickly dropped down the leaderboard with consecutive bogeys and then a double-bogey on the seventh. Despite falling out of contention early on, he rallied back to give himself a shot at the title.
Rolling in consecutive birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, Perez pulled within two of Lucas Glover, who played in the group ahead. With another birdie on No. 15, Perez fought his way back in the mix and the chance to win or get in a playoff. Well, that is, until he bogeyed the last three holes.
When a heated Perez walked from 18 green through the path to the flash area, guarded by fans on both sides, someone hollered, “Good job on getting yourself back in it, Pat!” Apparently the fan missed the finishing holes.
After signing for his three-over 75 at Quail Hollow Club, Perez tied for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Overall, PP had a good week, but golfers are never satisfied and it’s an especially wretched feeling to finish so poorly after he’d been flushing the ball the first three days. (Hint: It’s probably mental.) Perez needed some time to cool off, but begrudgingly made a few comments.
“It just proves that I can’t close, so I’m pretty confident on that,” said Perez, bluntly. “I just hit too many bad shots. Too many. You’re never going to win if you’re hitting it like that. You’re never going to win if you play like I did today. That’s just terrible. Embarrassing.”
As we know, PP doesn’t mince words, which is part of his charm — what you see is what you get, there’s no BS. Besides, it’s nothing a few hours, along with a few adult beverages, couldn’t cure. By now, I’m sure he’s already moved on.
“I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Perez, when asked whether he had a game plan to move past it. “I’m playing great. Hopefully I can have a better Sunday next time.”
Perez also contributed to the history books on Sunday. He set a tournament record, carding 26 birdies, 18 of which came in the first two rounds. Though Perez isn’t happy with the result, he tied for six in a very strong field at Quail Hollow, which marked his third top-six finish in his previous four starts.
Just a little perspective!
(Aside: I’m loving PP’s new all-white get-up on Sundays. I watched a video where he said he almost wore Tiger’s Sunday outfit to match Tiger, also known as “The Cat,” when the two played together on Sunday at Bay Hill in March. Now that would have been priceless. But PP went with the opposite and chose to dress in white from head-to-toe. )
(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)