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January 5, 2018
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
JOHN BUSH: Like to welcome Pat Perez to the interview room here at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. 7-under par 66 today. Excellent round of golf. Some comments on your round, please.
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, it was unexpected. I didn't putt well at all yesterday, so -- I hit it okay, but I didn't really get much out of it. Today I hit it all right and some putts went in.
JOHN BUSH: Let's go right into questions.
Q. You say unexpected only because of yesterday, or any other reasons?
PAT PEREZ: Seemed to me that they had cut the greens yesterday. They didn't to it Monday Tuesday or Wednesday, so I couldn't use the speed. But they claim they didn't to anything different, but they were definitely rolling out more and then now you add more wind. The first day was difficult for me to get used to it. I wasn't -- but then today I got a little more accustomed to the greens and I got used to the speed and just made some putts. I hit some good shots and I hit a bad shot on 8 and didn't gets up-and-down on 9 which I was a little upset about. But made six birdies on the back, so.
Q. What was your best birdie today?
PAT PEREZ: Best birdie? I didn't make that one on 13, did I? Probably 11. I hit it over there to the left, I had a long putt and it was nice. I hadn't made one that long this week, so that was a good one.
I would say that and probably it was nice to get -- I didn't hit a good drive on 18 and got there in two which was pretty cool to get there from 290 are whatever it was. So I thought that 2 was a good birdie as well. So.
Q. You had a birdie at 2?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, I played the hole in four so far.
Q. It's the hardest hole today?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah. I played it in four.
Q. What did you hit?
PAT PEREZ: I hit six yesterday and seven today.
Q. Where were you aiming?
PAT PEREZ: Dark blue flag.
Q. That helps. How far left of the pin were you aiming, do you think?
PAT PEREZ: I don't know. Go out there and look at it. It's got to be 40 feet left. 30 feet. 35. 38 and a half feet.
Q. What are the challenges of putting in conditions like these? Not so much these greens, but when it's windy like this?
PAT PEREZ: These greens especially you've got grain, break, speed, wind. Very difficult. I had trouble with all of them yesterday. Today I was able to see more of the break, I was able to get the speed and the wind kind of all together. It took me a full day, but it was good. I don't know, it was good. I had some good looks, I had some hard looks. I got lucky on 16. That ball could have gone off the green if it hadn't hit the side of the hole. That was maybe a 5 turned into a 3, luckily, so.
I don't know, it's just, when the wind gets over 20, when it gets like 25, some spots today it was probably a little more than that, it's just hard. Even though the greens are slower it doesn't matter because if you don't play the right break the wind can push it and/or not push it, it's just difficult. It was a little more difficult. You really got to be in the right spots on this course. You cannot be above the hole.
Q. What did you hit into 18. I think you had 305?
PAT PEREZ: 3-wood.
Q. Looked like you were expecting to make that. You looked a little bit disappointed?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, I was. It was dead straight. It was 25 feet away, whatever it was. It was one of the best looks I had all day, into the wind, kind of uphill, dead straight. I wanted to make it just to make it.
Q. How important was it to play here last year and just sort of have a feel for this place after not being here for awhile?
PAT PEREZ: I don't know, it's different than last year, so I didn't really get much benefit. I think the wind's a little different, a little different direction as well, so. But, yeah, you got to have, obviously the more times you can get around here and the normal wind like it has been, it's obviously very beneficial.
Q. As much as this game can be so grinding and demanding at times, is it any different when it's the first tournament of the year and you've got, you know, a lots of beautiful views around you, or is it still golf and does it still get under your skin?
PAT PEREZ: Oh, no, it does. You know, you think oh, yeah, I'm going to go to the islands and it's going to be a nice fun event, then you start making some bogeys and you get pissed. And it's like, well, there went that vacation. Everybody wants to do well. Everyone says, oh, it's a free event, this a that. You only got to beat 33 guys here and I don't say "only 33" like they're nobody, they're really good players. But odds-wise you got to beat 33 as opposed to 120 or 119 and 155. I mean, it's -- it can really help you if you win here. You see guys in the past like Appleby and Ogilvy, they have won back-to-back-to-back. I mean it's -- everybody wants to play well here. It's beautiful, it's a great place, everybody stays at the Ritz, it's awesome, do get me wrong. But you can leave here with some FedExCup points and some nice money and get your -- continue your year going. So, yeah, it can piss you off a little bit.
Q. You talk about the odds. What really are the odds? And that's not one against 33, but I mean there's some significant rust here this week, too, isn't there for some?
PAT PEREZ: Maybe. The guys that are on the East Coast, yeah, they didn't practice as much. I haven't really had time off, so I've been kind of full steam since basically almost after TOUR Championship. I only took a little bit off for there. After that I went to Malaysia, Korea, China and then I came home. Two weeks, I played the Shark Shootout. I went to Cabo for a week and played a tournament down there. And then 10 days later I came here. So I haven't really had too much time off. And it's been great at home, it's been 80 degrees. So I've had plenty of time to practice and get it going. But, yeah, I can see where some guys might be maybe a little rusty. But I think that -- who was I talking to? Somebody took November and December off and came here. It's like, you know, for me it's too big of a tournament to come in here taking it lightly, even though we have guys that didn't show up. But to me it's an important enough tournament that to win you know you're coming back next year and once again, you're -- it gives you more status, it gives you more everything. I think it's a great event.
Q. What do you think of your status now?
PAT PEREZ: I like it. I don't really think anything. I just like it.
Q. Are you at a point where you've ever stopped thinking about where you were a little more than a year ago?
PAT PEREZ: No, I never stopped thinking about it. I'm always tickled every time I think about the fact that I had just won again. And then it takes me for another three years, basically takes me to 45 years old, and then I can kind of decide what I want to do then. No, I never take it for granted. I think it's unbelievable, I can't believe I'm here, but I just, I love every day.
Q. Is there any part of you, if you go back to Mexico onward, and this beautiful roll you've been on, fearful at some time it might come to an end?
PAT PEREZ: It could. It could. It might. I don't know. It might. For me to be, for me to take that long to get to this position and then think that -- I don't know it could stay there, it might not. I'm not really worried about it in the least. Whether I get to the top-10 or get to 5 or go back to 50 or whatever, I'm not really worried about it.
Q. What worries you these days?
PAT PEREZ: Not much.
Q. Something has to.
PAT PEREZ: Getting my house done. Trying to get this house done.
Q. What have you got going on there?
PAT PEREZ: There's a lot of things going on. I'm trying to get -- we, me and Ashley, are trying to get this house done. I don't really have -- at this point in time I really don't have anything to worry about. I just don't. I'm finally in a spot where everything's just moving nicely.
Q. Let me say it this way: When was the last time you were worried, minus the house?
PAT PEREZ: Going to Malaysia. Two years ago.
Q. Coming off the shoulder?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, that's when I -- I knew I was playing well, I knew I was ready to go, but you just don't know are you going to get everything in in those 15 events.
Q. In your medical?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah. Because if you don't then what? Now you're talking about 41-year-old guy that's odds are probably, not against you, but they're not really for you. That you're going to come back and make a come back. I still can't believe what's really transpired in the last 17 months. But I'm just trying to enjoy every day of it and I'm just doing it. I'm having a blast.
Q. Did you have a kind of a plan B in mind if it didn't, if you didn't come back the way you did, because you don't have a college degree or anything, do you?
PAT PEREZ: No, that's actually funny, I didn't have anything. I didn't have, I never really had a plan B. I guess I just -- I never thought about it. Not that I thought I was I going to do it, but I just never thought about it. I just was a, I just put it all on here and then we'll worry about the rest of it when if it ever goes south.
Q. What would you say is some of your goals over the next five years?
PAT PEREZ: Five years? I don't know. I would like to win again. I would like to be -- everybody says they want to do this and that, I don't really, I don't put the pressure on, I know, I mean, yeah, who doesn't want to win a Major, who doesn't want to win a Ryder Cup, who doesn't want to win, you know, more tournaments, I mean, I want all those things just like everybody else.
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, FedExCup would be nice, probably, but, you know, it's, I, I don't really look at things, I don't really have goals and things like that. I just, I play and if it comes across my table, then it comes. If I can win, great. But I don't add any -- I learned that if I don't add any pressure on myself then I'll play better. I used to do that all the time, I used to add so much, that I actually didn't, I didn't play well at all. And now, when things start going well, I try to even back off even more. If the round's going well, I'll just try to forget what I'm even doing. I just talk to H or talk to whoever I'm playing with and just take it back a little more relaxed and not go, okay, well now we're at 6, we're going to get this to 9. No, I don't do that. If it gets there, it gets there. That kind of goes with my things on not really worried about what happens, so...
Q. I don't recall that the details of Malaysia, mainly because I wasn't there, but was that an easy win over the last hour type thing, what did you win by?
PAT PEREZ: I won by four. But I was up by six with nine to play.
Q. That's too easy.
PAT PEREZ: And a course like that, it's perfect for me, because it's not very long. I had two holes on the back I just had to get through. I had to get over the water on 11 and I had to make sure I didn't hit it in the bunker on 12. And then I just tried to hit anywhere on grass on 14. And it was over -- because you come in, it's a 5-iron off the tee, 6-iron par three, and a 4-iron, 4-iron, nobody can get to 18 in two anyway, so which I wish they would move that tee up so at least you could get there. But it didn't matter I had a four-shot lead on the last hole, so even I can't screw that up.
Q. Was there very much talking out there today with 10 birdies?
PAT PEREZ: Oh, yeah, I love playing with Hud. Hud's unbelievable. I always play good with him for some reason. We had a great day. We had fun. Him and his caddie are great, we all get along, so we talked all day. It actually gets to the point that you kind of forget the golf here and there. So it's nice.
Q. Talk about your travels coming up. Pretty fired up about that?
PAT PEREZ: I am fired up. Actually really excited. I'm not playing next week, then I leave for Friday I'm flying with Sergio to Singapore and Dubai and then I'll be home. I'm not going to play Phoenix. I'll do Pebble and L.A., Mexico City, Bay Hill, Augusta. Oh, Match Play, Augusta.
Q. I'm thinking more Singapore. Are you one of the headliners?
PAT PEREZ: I doubt it. I mean, I don't know.
Q. Who else is there?
PAT PEREZ: Sergio is going.
Q. How did those plans with Sergio come about?
PAT PEREZ: We're with the same agent. Sergio, he's been great to me forever. I known him since I got on TOUR, he's been awesome. He's awesome.
Q. Is part of that no Torrey, is that because of that no pressure you talked about, putting too much pressure on yourself there?
PAT PEREZ: Yeah, I used to put way too much on. I always thought that everybody expected so much and nobody expected anything. So I figure I might as well do the same and I got better results from it.
Q. Have you ever been in a tournament where, when you drive in the entrance, your name's on one of the posters?
PAT PEREZ: I doubt it. There's no way. I was on -- I was a late addition in China this year and they had the Wall Of Champions and I could tell that mine was kind of the last one because it was peeling off, the new paste or whatever they put on there, that was kind of cool. But other than that, I don't think so. I couldn't even tell you where that brick is at the Hope I guess it's CareerBuilder now, I couldn't tell you where that brick is with my name. I keep seeing pictures of it on social media, but I have no idea where it is.
Q. Sandblasted it off or something?
PAT PEREZ: It might be gone, I don't know. I haven't seen it ever, so. Yeah, it will be cool. It will be fun.
Q. Worst shot you hit last year?
PAT PEREZ: Worst shot I hit last year? That's a tough one. There's so many of them. Who knows. I have no idea. Do you have one?
Q. I would rather not say. No I don't have one.
PAT PEREZ: I don't have a shank or anything, which was nice, so that's at least a plus. No, I don't really have one. I'm sure it was at Birkdale. Had to be. Had to be at Birkdale. It could have been a hundred of them there. Two days there. I don't know. I don't really have one.
Q. First time you're speechless. Magnificent.
PAT PEREZ: H will know. I should have brought him in here, he knows all my bad shots. Should have brought him in here.
JOHN BUSH: Pat, thanks for your time.
PAT PEREZ: All right, you got it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports