Perez in mix through 54 at course where he grew up

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SAN DIEGO – Nobody really gets comfortable at Torrey Pines South, but Pat Perez is more at home here than anyone else in this week’s field at the Farmers Insurance.

“This is my town,” Perez said Saturday after posting a 5-under-par 67 to get into contention to win his hometown event.

Perez, who grew up in nearby Cardiff, first played Torrey Pines when he was 11. He got a job on the range when he was 13 and used to drive the caged rig that scoops golf balls.

Perez’s father, Tony, is the long-time first-tee announcer here. He’s on the job again this week.

At 40, less than a year removed from shoulder surgery, Pat’s enjoying a resurgence after so many observers seemed to write him off. He lost an equipment deal last year. But Perez won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November in just his third start after having a torn labrum repaired in March. It was his second PGA Tour title.


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In 15 starts in this event, Perez has two top 10s, including a tie for second three years ago, when he finished a shot behind Scott Stallings.

Perez was asked Saturday if he feels pressure to win on a course that means so much to him.

“There used to be early,” Perez said. “I really wanted to do well. I've kind of put that aside now. I try to play well every week.”

Yeah, but, this is your town, so . . .

“Obviously, I would love to play well here, but the course is so hard, it's not like you're going to go out there and make nine birdies and try to catch the leader,” Perez said. “I don't have that pressure, because I can't overpower it. I have to hit a lot of great shots. I don't really get ahead of myself out there.”