Perez heeds advice to break seven-year barren run

Seven years and 197 starts ago, Pat Perez started his career on the PGA Tour with a lot of promise but with an equal dose of attitude. That potential was finally fulfilled with his victory in the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, California.

The problem with Perez was that he wasn’t good at taking advice. His friend Tommy Armour III gave him plenty but only recently had he taken it on board.

The result was a three-stroke victory over John Merrick in the five-round Classic, helped by a collapse from Steve Stricker.

Perez shot a three-under 69 in his final round to finish on 33-under-par 327, holding off Merrick, who shot a 67.

Stricker appeared headed for victory after 61 and 62 over the weekend. But his normally steady game crumbled on Monday as he shot 77 to finish tied for third on 332 with Mike Weir.

Stephen Ames, Bo Van Pelt, Tim Clark and Webb Simpson were tied for fifth on 333.

Perez finished the tournament with a three-foot eagle putt for his maiden victory in his 198th PGA Tour event. And he admitted that he should have taken on Amour’s advice long time ago. he said:

“You know TA, he would say, ‘Kid, you gotta relax. Kid, you’ve gotta quit doing this and you gotta quit doing this’. But Tommy’s right. A lot of things he’s right on. I usually just screw around and play and have some drinks or whatever, but this time it was serious. I got to a point in my career, seven years now, that I was just tired of being average. I was tired of being nobody. I know that I can play and I want to play.”

Before his victory, Perez had attained notoriety for his temper. At the 2002 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he slammed his club in anger and was caught on television.

Few remember him as the young upstart who beat Tiger Woods at the 1993 World Junior Championship. But now that he’s got his head together, we’ll probably be hearing more from the man who finally accepts advice.

On the European Tour, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros fired a three-under-par 69 to win the Qatar Masters, beating South African Louis Oosthuizen and Henrik Stenson by three strokes in Doha.

The 26-year-old finished on 19-under 269 at the Doha Golf Course to become the first Spaniard to win the tournament.

This is the second tournament of Europe’s Gulf Swing with players staying in the Middle East for the Dubai Desert Classic later this week. The first tournament was the Abu Dhabi Championship.

In Rio De Janeiro, it was a triumph for second-trimester would-be mothers when Catriona Matthew won the inaugural LPGA Brazil Cup.

The 39-year-old Scot, who is carrying her second child, scored a three-under-par 69 for a total of six-under to beat American Kristy McPherson by five shots in the two-round exhibition tournament.

The event featured 15 players and a $500,000 prize purse.

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