Back in Playing Shape

By Pat PerezJuly 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is a weekly chronicle of the life & times of PGA TOUR star Pat Perez. Visit him at www.PatPerezGolf.com for Pat's daily blog, music-fueled photo galleries, online store & more.
 
Hey everyone, PP here. Checking in with you on a Thursday evening. Was going to blog a few days back, but figured it made more sense to do so after Thursdays opening round. After so many weeks on injured reserve and writing from home in Scottsdale, I figured the loyal readers were ready to actually hear about some golf-related activities.
 
Thankfully, Im writing tonight after a solid round. I went -2 today. Four birdies and two bogeys on a day when I really wasnt expecting to do all that much. I attempted to play The Memorial and the Barclays Classic, but I really wasnt physically ready. I was really disappointed with my performance in those two tourneys. I wasnt physically ready to come back, but I gave it a run, didnt shoot well, still felt some nagging pain and came home for three grueling weeks at Athletes Performance in Scottsdale, AZ. Masa, Jeremy and Sue really beat the tar out of me this past month. You name it, they did it. Whether it was physically working on the back or time spent stretching, lifting weights, etc. ' whatever they did there, it worked. I feel great right now and a huge part of that is due to my strict workout regimen this past month.
 
The rest is due to my coach, Mike Owen. We spent the past three days really honing in on certain aspects of my game. 'O' felt I was lining up too far right and was still getting too far over the top. He wanted me to get my body left, get my shoulders squared and get my swing going inside out. We worked on it at the range, in the practice round and even in the Pro Am. Thankfully, things fell into place rather easily. Im still sort of taken aback with todays round. I really didnt expect to shoot as well as I did. My attitude going into The Memorial was to just finish and not WD. That was sort of my attitude this week. I never go into a tourney with an expectation lower than winning ' but coming off of injury and a long layoff, its a fine line between optimistic and realistic.

To shoot a 69 in my first competitive round in almost a month ' I was more than satisfied with that and cant wait to get back out there tomorrow, bright and early. I love going late on a Thursday and early on a Friday. Theres almost no down time, like when you go early and then late. Any guy out here will tell you that. Especially when you go low on Thursday. You cant wait to get back out there on Friday.
 
Recapping the past few days ' I played my practice round Tuesday with John Daly and Todd Fischer ' better known as JD and Fishbone. No real highlights, but everyone was feeling healthy and optimistic about the upcoming tourney. I got to hang with JD on the off nights this week and again, its just great to be back out here with the boys. I get cabin fever when home and just love being out here on the road.
 
The only downer about Tuesday was a missed opportunity in regards to another round of batting practice. My bud Jermaine Dye (yeah, World Series MVP Jermaine Dye seriously) invited me to take some BP like I did with (Pat) Burrell a few weeks back in Philly. Unfortunately, my practice round ran late and they had a day game on the 4th. I was ready to get out there again after my stint with the Phillies, but it wasnt meant to be this time around. Ill get em next time. Im hoping to get out to a game while Im out here, but well see.

I tee off at 8:21am CT on Friday and am already back in my routine. My back guy Jeff Banaszak from www.Back9Fitness.com is headed over bright and early to get me stretched and work on my problem areas. Jeff is going to start writing a weekly column on my website (www.PatPerezGolf.com) - offering up golf-related workouts, stretch tips and all kids of other pointers. Make sure to drop by and check it out. Were starting up next week.

On that note, off to bed. We have an early tee time tomorrow and Ive been all out of whack since Sunday. My last night in Scottsdale, my brother Mike (we call him The Hate ' if you see him out here, thats his nickname) and a few other bros took in the Cinderella and Poison concert at Cricket Pavillion. It was off the hook. Poison was solid, but Cinderella is one of my all time favorite bands and they stole the show. Seriously. If the Cinderella guys read this column, I want them and The Cult to play a house party when I win my first tourney out here. Thats been a dream of mine for years. Their show the other night was unreal. I missed them their last few tours, so that was the ONE saving grace being off the road the past few weeks; getting to see Tom Keifer and the boys tearing it up.
 
Three more solid rounds of golf and that victory rock show could be right around the corner. We'll see. I have my work cut out for me. Some big time players atop the leaderboard and a lot of golf left to be played.
 
More next week from the John Deere, then it's back 'home' to San Diego for a week. Padres/Phillies; Edwin McCain in Anaheim on Monday; my buds, Hootie & the Blowfish at Humphrey's By the Bay on Thursday; and, of course, opening day at the Del Mar Track on Wednesday with the boys.
 
Thanks for stopping by. - Double P.
 
patperezgolf.comEmail your question for a future column to cb@patperezgolf.com
 
Pat Perez is in the midst of his fifth season on the PGA Tour. 'Double P' earned his PGA Tour card as the Q-School Medalist in 2001 and was part of the 1996 NCAA National Championship golf team at Arizona State University. Visit Pat at his website www.patperezgolf.com or his page at MySpace.com
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.