Perez cruises to CIMB Classic title

Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Pat Perez claimed his third PGA Tour title with a four-shot win in the CIMB Classic, finishing off his campaign with a solid 69 at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s West Course.

Starting the day with a four-shot lead, the 41-year-old American was never threatened and romped home with a 24-under-under-par total. Fellow American Keegan Bradley rode on the wings of an eagle at the par-five 12th hole for a closing 67, finishing alone in second place on 20-under-par. Another American, 2017 Tour Championship winner and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, shared third place with Korea’s Sung Kang on 17-under-par.

The 41-year-old Perez was delighted to win the CIMB Classic, which was the first event he played in last year after being sidelined for 11 months due to a shoulder surgery.

“I knew I had to stay on the gas here because the guys are playing so good. I expected someone to shoot 63 or something like that. I’m learning how to play my own game and stay within myself and that kind of stuff,” said Perez, who was given s sponsor’s invite to play in  last year’s event and followed that up with his second PGA Tour win in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

“It’s actually not even the course that suits my eye … it’s the greens. Mayakoba, where I won, has the same greens and I putted better than anybody there, too. I didn’t hit it that great; I just made a whole lot of putts and that saved me because if I didn’t putt well I probably would have finished 40th,” he added.

Two-time defending champion Justin Thomas settled for joint 17th place on 11-under-par after a closing 67.

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Gavin Kyle Green finished as the best Malaysian in joint 61st place on even-par despite a closing 75, one shot ahead of compatriot Danny Chia (T63). The other Malaysian in the field, Nicholas Fung, was 76th on 11-over-par.

Results (Top 10 and ties)
264 – Pat PEREZ (USA) 66-65-64-69 ($1,260,000)
268 – Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 65-71-65-67 ($756,000)
271 – Xander SCHAUFFELE (USA) 65-67-67-72, KANG Sunghoon (KOR) 67-68-65-71 ($406,000)
272 – Cameron SMITH (AUS) 64-71-73-64, Hideki MATSUYAMA (JPN) 70-68-63-71 ($266,000)
274 – Paul CASEY (ENG) 77-63-69-65, Danny LEE (NZL) 73-65-68-68, Lucas GLOVER (USA) 71-67-68-68 ($218,166.67)
275 – Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 67-70-69-69, Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 73-68-65-69, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 67-73-64-71 ($175,000)

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