CIMB Classic 2017
October 14, 2017
American Pat Perez won the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic, claiming a four-shot victory over compatriot Keegan Bradley on Sunday at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
He sealed his first title in almost a year despite carding a modest three-under 69 in the final round, courtesy of a strong start with three birdies in the first four holes.
The 41-year-old only managed to make par on the back nine, but did enough to finish the tournament with a 24-under 264 to take home the $1.26 million prize purse and 500 FedEX Cup points.
Victory also earned him an automatic entry for next year's Masters in April.
Perez's feat comes after a long recovery from a shoulder injury last year that threatened to derail his career.
The bulky golfer admitted he never expected to reign supreme in the sweltering conditions in Kuala Lumpur.
''Unreal. I think I'm the last guy that expected to win this week, to be honest with you. I did not think I was going to win this week,'' Perez said. ''I really can't explain it, it's been an amazing 12 months. I can't explain it, but I hope it continues.''
Perez also confirmed he'll be back to defend his title next year.
''I'll be here every year. Every year of the tournament, I'll be here. It's been very good to me. The tournament's been fantastic,'' he said.
Bradley took home the runner-up spot after he carded an unblemished five-under 67 to finish at 20-under 268.
Xander Schauffele, who started the round in second place, faltered with four bogeys to finish tied-third alongside South Korea's Kang Sunghoon at 17 under.
Defending champion American Justin Thomas finished tied for 17th place.
Thomas had been in terrific form coming into the event, but failed to lift his game in his mission for a ''three-peat.''
''I was definitely low on gas. It's been a great but long year, for sure,'' Thomas said.
October 14, 2017
Pat Perez turned in an 8-under 64 at the third round of the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic to open up a four-shot lead over closest rival Xander Schauffele.
The American, who led by a single stroke coming into Saturday, turned on the style on the back nine with six birdies, giving him nine for the day against just one bogey. After three rounds, Perez is on 21-under 195.
''These guys are so good and you can make so many birdies out there so fast and I know that,'' said Perez. ''So if I can get another six (birdies) tomorrow, I might be tough to catch.''
Schauffele remained within sight of his compatriot after a 5-under 67 - including an eagle on the 10th - while South Korea's Sung Kanghoon is a further shot away after a 7-under 65.
Defending champion Justin Thomas' chances appear over after he finished the day tied 24th at 6 under, despite posting his best round with a 69.
The American had a double bogey on the par-5 fifth hole but recovered with a flurry of birdies and an eagle on No. 16.
Clear skies at TPC Kuala Lumpur brought out the best from Whee Kim with a hole-in-one on the 199-yard, par-3 15th. The South Korean won a BMW hybrid vehicle.
''(I) landed perfect and thought 'Oh made it, it's going to go in,''' Kim said.
October 13, 2017
Pat Perez led by one stroke halfway through the CIMB Classic after carding a 7-under-par 65 around a four-hour delay for rain on Friday.
Fellow American golfer Xander Schauffele was on Perez's tail after a long-range eagle on the third hole set up his 5-under 67.
Defending champion Justin Thomas had another poor round by his high standards, a 71. A three-peat on the TPC Kuala Lumpur where he clinched his maiden U.S. PGA Tour title in 2015 seems a tall order.
Two bogeys compounded by a double bogey on the 12th meant Thomas was 10 shots behind Perez, at 3 under for the tournament.
Perez, meanwhile, was hoping for more gusty winds and rain after making eight birdies, including four in a row. He's at 13-under 131 overall.
''I don't want sunshine at all. It's too hot, way too hot,'' Perez said. ''I like it just the way it is right now, perfect. Cloudy, no wind.
''I didn't think I really played that well. I got off to a slow start, I was 1 over through four. We had the break, and ... I like the front (nine), I play better on the front.''
Kang Sunghoon of South Korea (68), Thomas Pieters of Germany (67) and overnight leader Cameron Smith of Australia (71) were tied for third, four shots off the pace at 9 under.
Tour rookie of the year Schauffele said he was comfortable.
''Everything's kind of coming easy,'' Schauffele said. ''Today was one of those weird days where (I had) all the breaks. I had some squirrely tee shots and a couple of weird drops. But they all kind of went my way.''
More unsettled weather is expected over the weekend.
October 12, 2017
Australian Cameron Smith blitzed the TPC Kuala Lumpur with a flawless eight-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead over a top-quality field after the opening round of the $7 million CIMB Classic on Thursday.
Smith, who won his first PGA title at the Zurich Classic team event in May, picked up five shots on the way out and three more over the last five holes to stand a shot clear of Thai Poom Saksansin and Americans Xander Schauffele and Keegan Bradley.
World number four Justin Thomas, who has won the tournament for the last two years with a combined score of 49-under, left himself with some work to do in his quest for a "three-peat" after posting a two-under 70.
Hideki Matsuyama, who passed up the chance to defend his Japan Open title to play in Malaysia this week, is a spot above Thomas in the world rankings and matched his score on Thursday after mixing four birdies with two bogeys.
Schauffele, who edged Thomas by a stroke to win the Tour Championship in Atlanta last month, never looked back after opening with a birdie and then chipping-in from off the green for another at his third hole.
The 23-year-old Californian, PGA Tour rookie of the year for 2017, picked up another five shots over the remaining 15 holes and suggested his error-free 65 had been as much the result of avoiding the lush tropical rough as anything.
"It was boring, which I guess is a good thing out here," he said.
"I hit a lot of fairways, kind of made an easy day out of it. I tried to copy everything (Justin) did as I figured he's a good guy to imitate out here."
PGA Championship title-holder Thomas also picked up shots in two of his first three holes but his round never really got going despite the birdie-friendly conditions.
Two bogeys on his back nine left him six shots off the pace in a share of 23rd but the 24-year-old cannot be written off after erasing a four-shot deficit in the final round to retain his title last year.
Kevin Na nailed a 45-foot putt for a birdie at the 15th and then holed an iron for an eagle at the 16th but bogeyed the last to drop to a share of fifth with fellow Americans Gary Woodland and Pat Perez after carding a 66.
Davis Love III also threatened the grip of the twentysomethings at the top of the leaderboard with five straight birdies from the second but the 53-year-old stumbled on the back nine and finished tied for eighth after a 67.
|T10||ESP||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-13||-||67||70||69||69||275|
|T17||TPE||Cheng Tsung Pan||-11||-||70||70||69||68||277|
|T23||USA||Harold Varner III||-9||-||72||67||70||70||279|
|T28||USA||Davis Love III||-8||-||67||73||72||68||280|
|T51||USA||Charles Howell III||-3||-||72||72||70||71||285|
|78||USA||D. A. Points||18||-||76||79||75||76||306|