Pat Perez reflects on 'unbelievable' year ahead of OHL Classic defence

09 November 2017 02:24

American Pat Perez admits he is struggling to comprehend what he has achieved in the last year as he prepares to defend his OHL Classic at Mayakoba title.

Perez was ranked 271st in the world and playing on a medical exemption following shoulder surgery when he won his second PGA Tour event at El Camaleon in Mexico 12 months ago.

And the 41-year-old has gone from strength to strength ever since, recording four further top-10 finishes last season and then starting the current campaign with victory in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.

" It's unbelievable," Perez told a pre-tournament press conference. "I can't believe what's transpired in 12 months.

"I was just hoping to not get hurt again and hopefully get my (PGA Tour) card back and that kind of stuff and here I am, I won twice and now I got to 18 in the world. I just can't believe it."

Such a high world ranking ensures Perez entry into the majors and World Golf Championship events, although his victory in the CIMB Classic did not count towards Ryder Cup qualification under the American system.

"My goal is to get to the Tour Championship again," Perez added. " I would love to be a contender in some big tournaments.

"The Ryder Cup is a long way away (and) I'm still behind the eight ball there, but it would be nice to be in the running for stuff like that.

" I'm not going to put any pressure on myself. I'm just going to play and kind of do what I do and see what happens. I would like to defend (this week), but obviously it's very tough. It's not something that happens every year to anybody."

Perez will partner 2015 champion Graeme McDowell and 2014 winner Charley Hoffman in the first two rounds, with tournament favourite Rickie Fowler making his first start of the season alongside Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and the in-form Chesson Hadley.

Source: PA