Pat Perez sheds long locks: 'It was just driving me nuts'

NAPA, California – New season, new hairdo for Pat Perez, who hacked off several inches a week ago. That doesn’t deserve a breaking news (...)

Pat Perez sheds long locks: 'It was just driving me nuts'

NAPA, California – New season, new hairdo for Pat Perez, who hacked off several inches a week ago. That doesn’t deserve a breaking news bulletin by any stretch of the imagination, but after going a year without doing so, his look this week is noticeably different.

He went from Steven Seagal waking up from a coma in the movie “Hard to Kill” to, well, Pat Perez.

“I had to, I couldn’t do it anymore. It was blowing in my eyes last week,” said the also clean-shaven Perez. “I feel like I lost 40 pounds. I don’t look like it, but I feel like I did.”

That’s not the only change for Perez. He moved the position of the golf ball in his stance on his putting stroke and the putts started rolling in. Perez carded a 3-under 69 on Friday at Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course to improve to 10-under 134 after 36 holes at the Safeway Open.

SAFEWAY OPEN: Leaderboard | Tee times, TV info

“My ball was just too far up, which makes me hit across it and up, which makes it spin right. Left to rights, I’ve been really bad on them,” said Perez of his decision to move the ball about two balls back in his stance. “Started making some putts and I thought, you know, might as well go with it. I’m pretty comfortable standing over the putter right now.”

Perez already has holed over 212 feet of putts through 36 holes and ranks sixth in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+3.681).

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And then the hair was gone.

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Perez also worked with swing instructor Drew Steckel on making a swing change that is paying quick dividends.

“I’ve finally tried to get (my wrist) bowed at the top more, then drop it in the slot. It’s really hard because I’ve done it the other way for so long and I’ve just been reluctant to do it. But I started hitting it just so bad and so sideways, I just couldn’t do it anymore, I had to make a switch,” he said. “I’m so afraid of hitting it left with that motion, but when I do it right, it just feels incredible. I’ve seen some shots this week I haven’t seen in so long, I’m pretty excited about it going forward throughout this fall season. Keep working on it and see what happens.”

Perez, 44, heard his fair share of jokes about his long hair, but his wife liked it so he kept his barber at bay. He appreciated being told that the shorter ‘do made him look younger.

A before and after of Pat Perez who had a major haircut. (Kyle Terada/ USA Today Sports and Jed Jacobsoh/Getty Images)

“I heard it all. Great moss, lettuce, hockey hair, you name it,” he said, noting that he might grow it long again. “It was just driving me nuts. It was so hot this summer and it just was like a drape.”

Almost as long as his hair is the length of the time since Perez has been part of the trophy hunt. His last of three Tour victories was the 2017 CIMB Classic, and he hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish since the 2019 Mayakoba Classic nearly a year ago. He withdrew from his two most recent starts with a foot injury at the Wyndham Championship and an ankle injury at the Northern Trust. Perez trails leader Sam Burns by five strokes.

“I’ve played horrible for so many weeks, I was fighting trying to get going, trying to hit it like this, but now, I don’t know, it always feels great being in contention,” he said. “That’s why we’re out here, to have a chance to win, at least have a good week and that’s all you ask for.”

 

Source : Golf Week More   

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No grandstands on the island 18th at Dinah's place, but there is a giant wall

As Sei Young Kim prepared to play her second shot on the par-5 18th on Friday, caddie Paul Fusco told Golf Channel reporter Jerry Foltz that (...)

No grandstands on the island 18th at Dinah's place, but there is a giant wall

As Sei Young Kim prepared to play her second shot on the par-5 18th on Friday, caddie Paul Fusco told Golf Channel reporter Jerry Foltz that she was hitting a cut 5-wood and that “it’s too much club.” Long is preferred on the closing hole of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, even though it’s an island green. Not for members of course. They’d be in the water.

But at the 49th ANA Inspiration, there’s a giant blue wall directly behind the green, serving as a backstop for those who want to attack on their second shots. Kim’s ball nailed the wall and dropped down safely on the grass. She got up and down for birdie and marched on to a 70.

Why is there a wall on the 18th?

LEADERBOARD: ANA Inspiration

For years now, there has been a grandstand behind the 18th green. But with no VIPS to put in the seats this year, many assumed the closing hole would go back to its natural state – the ultimate risk/reward challenge. After all, that’s the way LPGA hopefuls see it in the first stage of Qualifying School every summer.

Brittany Lincicome hit the hybrid of her life into the green in 2009 to win this tournament for the first time and tweeted two words about the presence of the blue wall: Thank God.

Leader Nelly Korda said good friend Megan Khang threw a ball under the wall during a practice round and watched it roll through the mesh and into the water.

The blue wall behind the 18th green at the ANA Inspiration during a Golf Channel broadcast. (Beth Ann Nichols/Golfweek)

“Honestly, I wish they didn’t have that wall there because I think it would play really cool as like an island green,” said Korda, “but as well, it’s like really close to the green this year. Like usually the palm trees, if you’re like left side, you have to play around them or they come in play, but this year it’s very close to the green.”

The LPGA typically uses the forward tee on the 18th hole twice a week – Friday and Sunday – from 510 yards to 487.

Cristie Kerr said she’s “pretty indifferent” about the wall. Madelene Sagstrom tried to picture how the hole would play without grandstands ahead of the tournament. That turned out to be unnecessary, of course, and she’s happy about it.

“It surprised me a little bit,” said Sagstrom, “but it looks good for the sponsors and stuff to have their logos on there, so I’m happy it’s there for both the sponsors and my own going-in-two sake.”

The LPGA didn’t want to comment on the wall, except to say that it’s no different than the hospitality structure. Except that it is different in that there aren’t any seats. It’s also worth noting that the lettering on the wall isn’t that big either. The scoreboard, which typically sits off the island, is now adjacent to the wall behind the green.

An aerial view of the blue wall behind the 18th green at the ANA Inspiration during a Golf Channel broadcast. (Beth Ann Nichols/Golfweek)

There’s a second a blue wall down the left-hand side of the green along Dinah’s Walk of Champions, where there’s typically a grandstand packed with fans.

“If you go way, way back,” said Judy Rankin, “(the 18th) was not reachable. There was only a couple of people who ever tried to go for it in two.”

There was no grandstand back then either. With no fans and a forward tee, new drama on the 18th in 2020 was ripe for the taking. There has been a playoff at the ANA on the 18th hole in three of the past five years.

“I believe these players are talented enough and have enough course management skill to have dealt with the hole without that wall,” said Rankin. “How can you play a dangerous shot to a green that is surrounded by water and manufacture making only 50 percent of that danger in play?

“Keep the green reasonably playable and let them handle it.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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