Hey Everyone. PP checking in from the PGA Championship.
It's my first tournament since withdrawing from the John Deere in mid July and only my fifth tournament since withdrawing from the Verizon back in April - when my initial elbow injury occurred.
Last year's event was at Baltusrol in Springfield, New Jersey and this week we're at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. This is my third trek to Illinois this season - having played in the Cialis Western Open (Lemont) and the John Deere Classic (Silvis) - so this place is becoming my new road home.
I headed out to the White Sox vs. Royals game last night, which was cool. I'm buds with Jermaine Dye, as we both work out at Athlete's Performance in Scottsdale. He gave me one of his signed World Series jerseys last season and I was supposed to synch up with him before the game to check out the field, locker room and to meet some of the team, but traffic did me in. We got to the park late, so I wasn't able to check out U.S. Cellular Field.
I'm starting to feel like a jinx to my MLB buds. A few weeks back I hung with Pat Burrell when the Phillies were in town playing the Padres. I think he went something like 0-for-4 that night and misplayed a few balls in the outfield. He made sure to tell me it was possibly his worst professional outing ever. Then last night, Jermaine has a ball hit square to him in right field and he can't get a glove on it. The Royals scored a run on that play and moved a runner over to third.
J-Dye was also 0-for-4 on the night, ending a 12-game hitting streak - so don't be surprised if your friendly neighborhood golfer is banned from MLB events the rest of this season. I'm bad luck.
I spent Tuesday morning with everyone's friendly neighborhood Spider Man -- Camillo Villegas. I played half of my practice round with him and my bud Jason Gore and got in a few holes with Bart Bryant and John Daly. I'm supposed to attend Daly's autograph session Wednesday night at the Hooters near the course and I'm hoping the big guy will let me start selling some of my PatPerezGolf.com t-shirts on his trailer. We'll see how that plays out. JD is the master of merchandising. Hopefully he can teach me a few things.
I've been attempting to work on my game this week, without really overdoing it. I'm single-handedly keeping Advil in business right now, working on keeping the inflammation down.
(Note to the Advil folks: please send any free samples to my home in Scottsdale. $20 a bottle is going to put me in the poor house.)
My coach Mike Owen is out here working with me this week and I've been getting stretched by my back guy Jeff Banaszak. Everyone is doing what they can to get me ready for my 7:30am CT tee time. I'm paired up with Charles Howell III and Joey Sindelar, so that should be a hoot.
I'm really hoping to make a run this week, but right now I don't really have any expectations nor am I putting any unnecessary pressure on myself. I'm taking it hole by hole and then day by day. It's rough enough only playing a handful of events since early April, but coming back the week of something as big as the PGA Championship? All the big boys are out here and gunning for a win. Tiger is on a roll right now and Phil is looking to defend his crown. Amazing that those two got paired up for Thursday and Friday, not to mention Geoff Ogilvy thrust in that mix. How's that gallery going to be the next two days?
I had a great run last year at Baltusrol and would love to do it again this year. I wound up tied for 6th and had a few shots get away from me on Sunday. 68-71-67-73 was my final scorecard. We had to wrap up the final few holes on Monday and I finished the tourney at -1.
We're at a different course this year and I feel it suits my game. I just hope I'm not too rusty to get out there and make a run. I need to get off to a fast start.
I'll check back in next week from Reno. Between now and then, we're opening up the floor for some questions. Next week's column will be a Q&A. Feel free to write in and ask about golf, music, movies, sports - whatever. We'll take the best questions and answer them in next week's column. The best question will win a PatPerezGolf.com t-shirt.
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll check back in next week. -- Double P
Email your question for a future column to email@example.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