Staying Classy in San Diego

By Pat PerezMay 17, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is a weekly chronicle of the life and times of PGA TOUR star Pat Perez. Visit his website at www.PatPerezGolf.com for Pat's daily blog, music-fueled photo galleries, online store and more.
 
Hey Everyone. Pat Perez checking in from San Diego this week. Im headed back home this off week to see some buds and to celebrate Mothers Day with my mom, whos living in Carlsbad these days.
 
I had a great week back with friends and family. Hung out, had a few BBQs, hit the Samurai Japanese Steakhouse, watched some NBA Playoffs action, took my dog to Dog Beach down in Del Mar and got my mind off the injured elbow.
 
All the distractions proved pretty good for me. When I finally teed it up on Monday, I was able to go through a few bags of balls at the range with no pain whatsoever ' though my action needs some work. I saw a picture of my swing that my web guy put on PatPerezGolf.com and I immediately noticed the position of my left hand. Coach Michael Owen and I have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks as I mount my comeback.
 
I was hitting balls up at Taylor Made on Monday and met with my rep, Scott Cuppett. Cuppy is good people and I always have a good time with the folks up there. I got to talk to owner and CEO Mark King a bit, as well as Robin English, Chuck Presto and a few others. All the bigwigs were present as Taylor Made upgraded their practice range facilities and Monday was the grand opening.
 
Pat Perez
Pat Perez is gearing up for his return to the PGA TOUR from an elbow injury.
Everything up there is first class and top of the line. I look forward to getting back there in the off-season and checking out some of the contraptions. One of the areas has a room with nine cameras staggered throughout and a machine that looked like the robot Rocky bought Pauly in Rocky IV. You put on a special suit and the nine cameras capture every angle and aspect of your swing. Pretty intense.
 
While checking out the new digs, the guys behind the guys worked on my irons and fine-tuned them for me. Im playing the new Rack Blades which are a little different in shape from the old ones. I needed to get all of that squared away as I start practicing again in the next few weeks. After just over seven weeks off (since withdrawing from the Verizon Heritage) it appears Ill finally make my comeback the first week of June at The Memorial in Dublin, Ohio. I cant wait.
 
Im really looking forward to getting back out on the road to see the boys ' Tommy Armour III, Jason Gore, Todd Fischer and my other Tuesday Morning Practice Round Crew. Im sure theyve been ripping on me the past two months, so I need to get back out there and put them all in check. I had breakfast with my caddy Mike Hartford this morning before hitting the road and he too is ready to get back out there.
 
Im headed back to Scottsdale and either Thursday or Friday Im making the trek to Philadelphia. My bud Pat Burrell plays for the Phillies and they have a home stand this weekend with the Boston Red Sox. Burrell has been trying to get me out there for a few years now, but it didnt work with my Tour schedule. Before I hit the road, I definitely want to get back east and catch a few games. Should be a good interleague game and since my Padres were on the road the whole week I was in San Diego, itll be fun to finally take in a few baseball games.
 
I wanted to get back to San Diego when St. Louis is in town as my bud Mark Mulder will be throwing, but I need to get back to the practice range. When I get to The Memorial, Ill have been away from competitive golf for over ten weeks. If Im going to get back to competing again the best, Im really going to have to work hard the next two weeks to get my game back.
 
Im looking forward to the next few weeks. I never thought Id miss the road and playing as much as I have. These past two months have felt like forever. A handful of first time winners finished a top the leaderboard the past few weeks. As happy as I am for them, I feel its time for me to get back out there and earn my first PGA TOUR win. My time is coming. I know it. I just have to work out the kinks that come from two months off, but Ill get back to where I was at the week of the Players Championship. (Editors Note: Perez finished T3 at the TPC at Sawgrass.)
 
Until then, its all about practice and taking in a few baseball games. Thanks to my San Diego crew for getting my mind off the injury and showing me a good time out there ' as well to the Taylor Made crew for taking care of me, as always.
 
Catch you next week and looking forward to seeing everyone at The Memorial in June. Also, thanks to everyone whos visited my online store recently. I never expected to sell so many of the new tees while injured at home. Looking forward to looking in the galleries and seeing the Double P logo represented out there. Thanks again. ' Double P
 
Email 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
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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Ortiz leads LAAC through 54; Niemann, Gana one back

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Mexico's Alvaro Ortiz shot a 1-under 70 Monday to take the 54-hole lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship in Chile.

At 4 under for the week, he leads by one over over Argentina's Jaime Lopez Rivarola, Chile's Toto Gana and Joaquin Niemann, and Guatemala's Dnaiel Gurtner.

Ortiz is the younger brother of three-time Web.com winner Carlos. Alvaro, a senior at Arkansas, finished tied for third at the LAAC in 2016 and lost in a three-way playoff last year that included Niemann and Gana, the champion.

Ortiz shared the 54-hole lead with Gana last year and they will once again play in the final group on Tuesday, along with Gurtner, a redshirt junior at TCU.

“Literally, I've been thinking about [winning] all year long," Ortiz said Monday. "Yes, I am a very emotional player, but tomorrow I want to go out calm and with a lot of patience. I don't want the emotions to get the better of me. What I've learned this past year, especially in the tournaments I’ve played for my university, is that I have become more mature and that I have learned how to control myself on the inside on the golf course.”

In the group behind, Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who is poised to turn professional, unless of course he walks away with the title.

“I feel a lot of motivation at the moment, especially because I am the only player in the field that shot seven under (during the second round), and I am actually just one shot off the lead," he said. "So I believe that tomorrow I can shoot another very low round."

Tuesday's winner will earn an invitation to this year's Masters and exemptions into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, and final qualifying for The Open.