Pat Perez continues to do things his own way, and – on the course, at least – that’s working out wonderfully. For all the attention he got in winning the CIMB Classic two weeks ago, he was seemingly next to ignored this past week at the CJ Cup. How does that even happen?
Part of that is simple, of course. Justin Thomas has been the hottest player in golf for the better part of a year, and when he popped off a white-hot 63 to open the event, the spotlight was on. While Perez didn’t take the highlight-laden route to success in Korea, he got where he needed to be all the same. He closed the event with his best score of the week, a four-under 68 that pushed him back to -5 for the event, just four shots out of the playoff. That, of course, followed a Saturday 75. Just imagine what could have happened had Perez not been playing from so far behind on Sunday.
In the end, he finished tied for fifth, and Perez’s name still sits atop the early FedEx Cup leaderboard. He did not, however, gain any Ryder Cup points. That could all change this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions. The 41-year-old hasn’t been to Sheshan since 2009, the first year the event bore the WGC title. Still, he notched a top-ten finish eight years ago, and with the way he’s playing, I’m looking for more of the same this week.