By now, most of you already know what happened last Sunday at the Reno-Tahoe Open, but we never got the chance to give it the attention it deserved on the blog. So here, in the interests of discussion, outrage and appreciation of Pat Perez’s embarrassment, is a post I put together earlier for The Score.
BY MOST STANDARDS, Pat Perez is a very good golfer. He’s a PGA Tour winner and has banked millions of dollars in a career that’s spanned most of the last decade. But ask most of his peers about Pat Perez and they’ll tell you he’s an underachiever. A stand-out at the junior and college level, he’s never quite fulfilled his talent at the highest level. Why?
Because Pat Perez has anger issues.
He’s been fined by the Tour and censured by television executives, even made the subject of a staged intervention by his parents (no, really…), yet he remains never more than an untimely missed putt or blocked drive away from meltdown. Broken clubs, the screaming of profanities, drivers sent cartwheeling into nearby shrubbery: he’s done it all. And thanks to some stellar camerawork at last week’s Tour stop, we now know he’s capable of reducing unfortunate children to tears.
Playing in the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open– an event stage opposite the elite WGC-Bridgestone Invitational– Perez found himself in contention heading into the back nine. Time and again he left himself with makeable birdie opportunities; time and again he failed to convert. Eventually, he found himself standing by the eighteenth green, watching Scott Piercy cruise to a comfortable, tournament-winning par. Knowing that any one of a handful of short missed putts would have been enough to secure a play-off berth, it all became too much for the Arizonan.
We’ll let GOLF.com’s Rick Lipsey (in an article entitled “Pat Perez’s tantrums are an embarrassment to the PGA Tour”) take up the story:
“Perez stomped up a cart path and began his tantrum by ripping a water bottle from his pocket and slamming it onto the ground. A few feet later, he passed two little boys. Both were asking for autographs, and one was also holding out a water bottle for Perez. Visibly angry, Perez rushed past the boys with such rage that one of them broke into tears. A few feet later, Perez ripped the bottom of his shirt from his pants and slammed his golf glove onto the cart path.”
Video of the incident briefly made it to YouTube before the PGA Tour’s legal department, which has developed a nice line in deleting embarrassing Pat Perez videos, sprang into action. The golfer himself has since used his Twitter account to issue an apology for his “unprofessional” hilarious acts and launched a campaign to find the emotionally-fragile child in question.
*UPDATE* The child has been found!
– reproduced with permission from The Score.