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The Takeaway

Perez 4-shot winner at CIMB

by Mo Yoshimoto
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

CIMB Classic

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Second- and third-round leader Pat Perez authored a 3-under-par 33-36=69 in the final round at TPC Kuala Lumpur to post 24-under 264, good for a four-shot victory over runner-up Keegan Bradley.


The 41-year-old, a pre-tourney 50/1 outright, bags his third PGA TOUR title in his 403rd career event, second as 54-hole leader/co-leader. Small caveat: Perez was 54-hole leader at the 2009 50th Bob Hope Classic (now CareerBuilder), but that was a 90-hole event. He was actually three back after 72 holes, shot 3-under 69 and won by three.


Bradley, who closed with bogey-free 67 out of the penultimate threesome, nabs his fifth career runner-up in his 185th career start, first since solo 2nd at the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational 97 starts ago. Overall, it’s Bradley’s 11th career top-3 finish.


Xander Schauffele (72) and Sung Kang (71) shared 3rd place, seven adrift, while first-round leader Cameron Smith (day-low 64) and Hideki Matsuyama (71) tied for 5th place, eight back. 



Final Leaderboard:


1st- Pat Perez (-24) 66-65-64-69= 264

2nd- Keegan Bradley (-20) 65-71-65-67= 268

T3- Xander Schauffele (-17) 65-67-67-72= 271

T3- Sung Kang (-17) 67-68-65-71= 271

T5- Cameron Smith (-16) 64-71-73-64= 272

T5- Hideki Matsuyama (-16) 70-68-63-71= 272



Perez, making his first start of the season, collects 500 FedExCup (FEC) points for the victory and vaults 73 spots to a career-high 2ndin the FEC standings, 56 points behind last week’s (repeat) winner at the Safeway, Brendan Steele, who finished T13 this week.


Speaking of “repeats”, Justin Thomas, the pre-tourney fave outright (4/1), was going for a 3-peat in Malaysia but never factored, finishing T17, 13 shots shy.





In the last 95 events on TOUR, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has only won SIX times, most recently Henrik Stenson at the 2017 Wyndham (14/1 co-fave).


Thomas is in the published field at this coming week’s inaugural THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES on Jeju Island, Korea, as is all of this week’s top-5 finishers, with the exception of Matsuyama.





Perez’ three wins:



2018: CIMB Classic (54-hole leader by four)

Shot: 3-under 69

Winning Margin: 4 shots

Career Start: 403

Starts In Between Wins: 24


2017: OHL Classic (come from behind, 1-shot deficit)

Shot: 4-under 67

Winning Margin: 2 shots

Career Start: 379

Starts In Between Wins: 182


2009: 50th Bob Hope Classic (come from behind, 3-shot deficit)

Shot: 3-under 69

Winning Margin: 3 shots

Career Start: 197 (8th season on TOUR)



Perez likes “classics”, apparently, and also likes Paspalum grass, notching his last two wins on those surfaces.



Perez at the CIMB:


5 starts (4 official)


2 top 25s

2 top 10s

1 top 5

1 win



Perez finished last season, his 16th consecutive on TOUR, a career-best 15th in the final FEC standings. He posted a career-high 14 top 25s in 26 starts, six for top 10s (tied career high) and four top 5s. His previous-best finish was 44th in 2007, the first year the FEC was contested.


The Arizona State product advanced to the TOUR Championship for the first time, where he finished 16th, which chased a T12 at the BMW, T6 (Dell), and T34 (THE NORTHERN TRUST).


He began last season on a Major Medical Extension after missing 35 weeks due to labrum surgery in March, 2016. In his third start (of 15) on the Major Medical, the Arizonian won the 2017 OHL Classic in a tournament-record-tying 21-under 263 as a pre-tourney 80/1 outright.


Interestingly, his first start on the medical was here at the CIMB, where he finished T33 on a sponsor invite, followed by T7 at the Shriners and the win in Mexico.



Field Scoring Average:



This was the 8th playing of the CIMB, fifth consecutive at TPC Kuala Lumpur, which received the TPC moniker prior to last year’s edition:


7,005 yards; par 72 (36-36)



R1: 70.949

R2: 70.987

R3: 70.000

R4: 70.718


Total: 70.663


Perez: 66-65-64-69


Note: No strokes gained stats at CIMB




Perez’ Position by Round:


R1: T5

R2: 1st  

R3: 1st  




How Perez Won on Sunday:



After kicking off in 66-65, Perez led by one over Schauffele, extending to a four-shot lead after a third-round 64. Playing out of the final threesome with Schauffele and Kang, he hit 11 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, camouflaging a lone bogey-5 at six with four circles at holes 2-4 and 8, the latter would complete his scoring.


Perez went 182 starts between wins No. 1 and 2 (2017, OHL Classic), and took just 24 more to add a third.


Schauffele, who began in solo 2nd, sleepwalked to an even-par 72 (four birdies, four bogeys), while Kang, who began in solo 3rd, conjured a 1-under 71 (six birdies, three bogeys, one double bogey-7).


Bradley, who began T4 and six adrift, easily secured solo 2nd with 67 (one eagle-3, three birdies), three clear of Schauffele and Kang, but four shy of Perez, who breezed to the finish line with 10 straight pars.


Dating to the beginning of last season, Perez is the eighth player to hold a four-shot lead (or greater) thru 54 holes and the seventh to convert. The only player that failed was Anirban Lahiri here. He held a four-shot lead and closed with even-par 72 for T3.




How Perez Won the Tournament:



Ranked 1stin Par-3 Scoring; T1 in Total Birdies and Total Bogeys; T1 in GIR  



Perez’ Weekly Stats (ranking of 78 players):



Birdies: 27 (T1)

Bogeys: 3 (T1)


Par-3 Scoring: 2.56 (1st)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.80 (T3)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.44 (T9)


Driving Accuracy: 43/56 (T13) at 76.79%

GIR: 62/72 (T1) at 86.11%

Putts per GIR: 1.661 (11th)

Total Putts: 113 (T9)

Putts by Round: 29-26-26-32

Scrambling: 7/10 (T7) at 70.00%




Updated Top 10 in OWGR:



With a Strength of Field rating of 297 (down from 335 last year), Perez banks 48.00 world-ranking points and climbs 11 places to a career-high 20thin OWGR.



1. Dustin Johnson

2. Jordan Spieth

3. Hideki Matsuyama

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jon Rahm

6. Rory McIlroy

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Henrik Stenson

9. Jason Day

10. Brooks Koepka



Notable Career Highs in OWGR:


Schauffele: 29th (up three)

Kang: 80th (up 25)




Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



1. Brendan Steele (556)

2. Pat Perez (500)

3. Tony Finau (300)

3. Keegan Bradley (300)

5. Sung Kang (167)

6. Chesson Hadley (163)

6. Xander Schauffele (163)

6. Phil Mickelson (163)

9. Nick Taylor (129)

10. Graham DeLaet (111)







No draw. Limited-field no-cut event




Low Rounds:



R1: Cameron Smith (64)

R2: Paul Casey (63)

R3: Hideki Matsuyama (63)

R4: Cameron Smith (64)




Bogey-free Rounds:



R1: Cameron Smith (64), Poom Saksansin (65), Xander Schauffele (65), Gary Woodland (66), Pat Perez (66), Brendan Steele (67), C.T. Pan (70)

R2: Thomas Pieters (67), Adam Hadwin (67), Wesley Bryan (68), Robert Streb (70)

R3: Hideki Matsuyama (63), Anirban Lahiri (64), Keegan Bradley (65), Peter Uihlein (65), Chad Campbell (66), Lucas Glover (68), Gary Woodland (68)

R4: Paul Casey (65), Nick Taylor (65), Keegan Bradley (67), Emiliano Grillo (67), Luke List (68), Scott Brown (68), Scott Stallings (68), Chad Campbell (69)




Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Cameron Smith (T5): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader


R2: Pat Perez (Won): Improves to 2-for-5 as 36-hole leader/co-leader


R3: Pat Perez (Won): Improves to 2-for-3 as 54-hole leader/co-leader






Last season, 41 (of 48) winners were 33-years-old or younger


28 winners were in their 20s

15 were in their 30s

5 were in their 40s



Through two events this season:


0 winners were in their 20s

1 were in their 30s

1 were in their 40s (Perez, age: 41)




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies: 1

Top-10 finishes: 1



Peter Uihlein: Making his tournament debut on a sponsor invite, the 28-year-old was the only rookie (of 23) in Malaysia. By default, he claims top-rookie honors with T10 on 13-under 275 (73-68-65-69).


It’s his first low-rookie honor in his second start (MC, Safeway). The Oklahoma State product entered the season 3rd in the Web.com Tour Priority Rankings. This was his 32nd career TOUR start (26 pro) and his fourth career top-10 finish.


The Jupiter, Florida, resident’s career best is T4 at the 2015 Sanderson Farms. He’s a one-time winner on the European Tour in 114 career events, claiming the 2013 Madiera Islands Open in Portugal.



First-Timers: 21

Top-10 finishes: 2



Besides Uihlein’s T10, the top-debutant honors belong to:


Xander Schauffele: The 23-year-old was top first-timer with T3 on 17-under 271 (65-67-67-72).


This was his first start of the season and bags back-to-back top-3 finishes, winning the TOUR Championship three weeks ago en route to Rookie of the Year honors.


Overall, this is the SDSU alum’s third top-3 finish in 31 career events, joining his maiden win at the 2017 Greenbrier and the Playoffs finale at East Lake.




Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



Jordan Spieth (T7-T7-2-P2)

Jon Rahm (T7-T5-T4-T3)

Justin Rose (T10-T2-T10-T10)

Tony Finau (2-T7-T7)

Matt Kuchar (T10-T5)

Xander Schauffele (T3-1)

Paul Casey (T7-5)

Anirban Lahiri (T10-T9)



Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended:







Field Breakdown:



Note: The average OWGR was 131st and the average OWGR for the top-10 finishers was 66th.



4 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field

3 finished in the top 10


15 of the Top 50 OWGR

5 finished in the top 10:



No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama (T5); top-ranked OWGR

No. 14 Paul Casey (T7)

No. 19 Rafa Cabrera Bello (T10)

No. 31 Pat Perez (Won)

No. 32 Xander Schauffele (T3)



Other Top-10 Finishers:


No. 68 Anirban Lahiri (T10)

No. 74 Peter Uihlein (T10)

No. 92 Lucas Glover (T7)

No. 98 Keegan Bradley (2nd)

No. 100 Danny Lee (T7)

No. 105 Sung Kang (T3)

No. 151 Cameron Smith (T5)



Other Notables:


No. 4 Justin Thomas (T17); defender, pre-tourney fave

No. 28 Charl Schwartzel (T28)

No. 33 Thomas Pieters (T44)

No. 35 Jason Dufner (74th)

No. 38 Jhonattan Vegas (T39)

No. 39 Si Woo Kim (77th)