Fit-again Perez turns year around with Mayakoba win


Pat Perez ended a near eight-year wait for his second PGA Tour victory and turned around what had been a miserable 2016 with a two-shot triumph in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Playing only his third event since undergoing major shoulder surgery in March, Perez followed up his stunning Saturday 62 with a closing 67 to overhaul overnight leader Gary Woodland (70).

Five front-nine birdies lifted Perez to 22 under for the tournament and put the 40-year-old firmly on course to add to his previous success at the Bob Hope Classic in January 2009.

The American could only muster eight pars and a bogey on the way home, but that was enough to ensure he became the second drought-breaking PGA Tour champion in as many weeks, following Rod Pampling's surprise win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last Sunday.

"I was really calm all day," said Perez. "I just had a lot of confidence when I came back.

"I started about two and a half months ago and I didn't think it was going to happen this fast, but I thought my comeback was going to be pretty successful."

Woodland was hampered by two early bogeys, but did at least climb back up to second by birdieing the last two holes.

Russell Knox went round in 66 to sit three behind Perez at 18 under, while Kevin Streelman (65), Chez Reavie (67) and Scott Piercy (70) were a shot further back - the latter left to rue a costly double-bogey on the 18th.

Having started the day one adrift of Woodland, Perez initially carried on where he had left off on Saturday, picking up shots at the first, third and fourth.

Further gains on eight and nine left Perez in a position of command and he held his nerve thereafter to spectacularly improve on a record of eight missed cuts in his previous 11 starts.