Pat Perez coasted to a five-shot victory during the final round of the CIMB Classic, winning his third PGA Tour title – and insists he isn’t planning on changing anything.
Perez sealed his first title in 11 months since winning the OHL Classic in Mexico last November, claiming a four-shot victory over compatriot Keegan Bradley on Sunday at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
“I’m not going to change anything,” he said. “I’m still not going to workout. I’m still going to have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself.”
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The 41-year-old began the day with a four-shot lead and consolodated his position with three birdies in a row from the second-to-fourth holes, and picked up another on the eighth despite a dropped shot on six to make the turn in 33.
Perez parred his way in on the back nine, but did more than enough to finish the tournament with a 24-under 264 to take home the $1.26 million prize purse and 500 FedExCup points – with the additional bonus of automatic entry for next year’s Masters in April.
Perez’s feat comes after a long recovery from a shoulder injury last year that threatened to derail his career, and admitted he didn’t expect to be the person to win this week.
“Unreal. I think I’m the last guy that expected to win this week, to be honest with you. I did not think I was going to win this week,” Perez said. “I really can’t explain it, it’s been an amazing 12 months. I can’t explain it, but I hope it continues.”
Perez also confirmed he’ll be back to defend his title next year.
“I’ll be here every year. Every year of the tournament, I’ll be here. It’s been very good to me. The tournament’s been fantastic,” he said.
Keegan Bradley took home the runner-up spot after he carded an unblemished five-under 67 to finish at 20-under-par, while 2017 rookie of the year Xander Schauffele finished third after faltering during his final round to end up alongside South Korea’s Sung Kang at 17-under-par.
Defending champion and 2017 player of the year Justin Thomas finished tied for 17th place, admitting that his game wasn’t quite there after a long year.
“I was definitely low on gas. It’s been a great but long year, for sure,” Thomas said.
WITB: Pat Perez
Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX
3 Wood: PXG 0341X (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX (tipped 1.5 inches)
Hybrid: PXG 0317X (19 degrees)
Shaft: Alidila Rogue Silver 85X
Irons: PXG 0311XF (3 and 4 iron), PXG 0311 Xtreme Dark (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS S-Taper 130X
Wedges: PXG 0311T Milled Sugar Daddy (54 degrees), PXG 0311T Milled Zulu (60 degrees)
Shafts: KBS 120 Tour Black
Putter: PXG Gunboat
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1