Perez Worked on His Attitude Over Winter


2006 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicPALM DESERT, Calif. -- After training hard during the winter and adjusting his attitude, Pat Perez is ready for a good year on the PGA Tour.
Hes off to a fine start in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, shooting an opening 12-under 60 on Wednesday to become just 20th player on the tour to go that low.
Talking about his long hours of physical training in the morning and golf in the afternoon during the offseason, Perez said he also had other goals.
Trying to stay patient and calm on the course and not get too excited or too mad or any of that stuff, said Perez, who takes a three-shot lead over Chad Campbell into the second round of the five-day Hope.
I really tried to grind that into myself, to try and succeed. I guess it paid off today because I saw a lot of great things and Im excited to play the rest of the year now.
The 29-year-old Perez, looking for his first tour win, is determined to control his temper on the course. Hes had flare-ups in the past, and was embarrassed afterward.
Im really trying to work on changing my reputation (for) having a huge attitude and bad temper and the whole thing, Perez said.
He had a talk with himself.
It was just a sit down, look in the mirror and say, Quit doing this. And thats it, just stick with it because its embarrassing, Perez said.
Perez joined 17 others who have shot 60 in a tour event. The record is 59, shared by David Duval, Chip Beck and Al Geiberger.
Consistently nestling his fairway shots close to the pin, Perez made 12 birdies during his bogey-free round on the 6,930-yard Arnold Palmer Course at PGA West.
Duval shot his 59 on the same layout on closing day of the 1999 Hope, rolling in a 6-foot eagle putt on the final hole to win by one shot. He finished with 11 birdies and the eagle.
Steve Elkington was a stroke behind Campbell. John Huston, Olin Browne and Tom Pernice Jr. were tied for fourth with opening 65s.
Phil Mickelson, the Hope champion in 2002 and 2004, shot a 6-under 66 at La Quinta Country Club in his seasonal debut and was in a group six shots off the pace.
Mickelson had shot the most recent 60 on tour last year at Scottsdale, Ariz.
Defending champion Justin Leonard opened with a 67, as did Mike Weir, the Hope winner in 2003.
The first four rounds of the 90-hole tournament are a pro-am, with the players alternating among four different courses. The final day is pros only, with the field trimmed to the low-scoring 70 players and ties.
Perez began opening day on the back nine at PGA West. Setting the tone for his round, he hit a 9-iron within 6 feet of the pin and sank the birdie putt.
He chipped within 6 inches of the cup on the next green and tapped in for another birdie. After a par on No. 12, he rolled in a 35-footer for birdie on No. 13.
I hadnt made one of those in a while, Perez said. It just kind of snowballed and everything started going in.
He was 6 under by the turn, then made consecutive birdies on his final three holes.
Along with the 35-footer, one of his birdie putts was from 12 feet, three were from around 10 feet, and the others were closer to the cup. His round included just 22 putts.
Campbell shot his 63 at Bermuda Dunes Country Club and was surprised to be three shots off the lead.
You expect low scores out here, but dont usually expect a 60. Thats a phenomenal round, Campbell said. You cant really get too overwhelmed with the first round. Youve just got to keep it up throughout the week.
Notes: The traditionally low-scoring Hope hasnt had a wire-to-wire winner since Kenny Perry in 1995. ... Becks 59 was at Las Vegas in 1991, and Geiberger shot his at Memphis in 1977. ... Duval, who had a closing 63 at Honolulu on Sunday for his best score in three years, shot 69 to open this years Hope.
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