Perez Continues To Sizzle At Cimb Classic

Sat 14 Oct 2017

Perez Continues To Sizzle At Cimb Classic

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Kuala Lumpur, October 14: American Pat Perez fired a third round eight-under-par 64 under sweltering heat to extend his overnight advantage to four shots at the CIMB Classic on Saturday.

The American’s best finish at the Malaysian showpiece was a ninth-place finish at the 2012 edition. But having produced a masterclass in putting at the TPC Kuala Lumpur all-week, Perez remains well on course to become the oldest winner in the CIMB Classic at 41 years old.

Perez raced out with an outward 33 and continued his birdie blitz on holes 10 and 12 after the turn. A bogey on 13 did little to dent his title aspirations as the American would storm home with four birdies in his closing five holes.

Perez’s three-day total of 21-under-par 195 means he will head into the final round of the US$7 million event in pole position with compatriot Xander Schauffele in second place after carding a 67.

Korea’s Sung Kang, a one-time Asian Tour winner, returned with a 65 to take third place while Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who has two top-five results in the event, and Keegan Bradley of the United States are tied for fourth on 201.

India’s Anirban Lahiri staged his comeback with a 64 to move into sixth place having started his round in tied-23rd place while Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond continued his fairy tale run with a 66 to end the day tied for seventh with Ollie Schniederjans of the United States.

Did you know?

  • Perez set the 54-hole scoring record with a 21-under-par 195 total, one shot better than Justin Thomas’ and Brendan Steele’s scores last year.
  • He credits a hot putter this week for his superb form. He tops the putting stats with an average of 1.5 putts. He has no three putts.
  • Perez has only dropped two bogeys in 54 holes on the par-4 12th and 13th holes.
  • This is his fifth appearance at the CIMB Classic. His best result in the tournament was in ninth place in 2012 but on a different golf course.
  • Perez is coming off his best season on the PGA Tour where he won once and finished a career high of 15th on the FedExCup ranking.
  • The signs look good for Perez as five out of seven players who have led or co-led after the third round of the CIMB Classic have gone on to win the event.
  • Perez, 41, is in the running to become the oldest champion in the CIMB Classic. Bo Van Pelt is currently the oldest winner at the age of 36 when he won in 2011.
  • The temperature soared to a high of 31 degrees Celsius at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
  • Like Perez, Schauffele has dropped only two bogeys this week on the par-four sixth hole (round two) and par-four first hole (round three).
  • He fired an eagle, his second in the tournament, on the par-5 10th hole. He rifled a five-iron from 250 yards before holing an 18-foot eagle putt.
  • Schauffele is making his first start at the CIMB Classic. He is also playing in his first event since being voted as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after winning The Greenbrier Classic and TOUR Championship.
  • Kang is aiming to become the first Asian to win the CIMB Classic. He trails Perez by five shots after trading seven birdies and one eagle against two bogeys. He birdied the last two holes to stay in the title hunt.
  • He won his first Asian Tour title at the 2013 CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi on home soil.
  • Matsuyama has finished inside the top-five at the CIMB Classic twice. He was fifth in 2015 and second last year. He is currently six shots back of the lead.
  • He is the highest ranked player in the elite field in third place on the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Korea’s Whee Kim made an ace at the 208-yard par-3 15th hole, the first of his PGA TOUR career and the second of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season. The-hole-in-one earned Kim a BMW 740Le xDrive Hybrid, which was presented to him by Han Sang Yun, Managing Director/CEO of BMW Malaysia after the round. This is the fourth consecutive year that an ace has been recorded at the CIMB Classic.

Player’s Quotes

Pat Perez (Usa), Third round 64 (-8), Total 195 (-21)

I didn’t really hit it that great but I putted good again. You know, I’m just kind of getting the most out of my game right now. It’s the same greens I won on in Mexico, so I really can see the line and I can see the ball in the wind here. It’s helped me, especially this. I can’t really explain, I’ve hit some good shots, I’ve hit some good putts, but things are just clicking right now. I didn’t look at the board. I wanted to get to 20 today, that was my goal, and then I know I needed my goal for the end is like 26 so I needed 13. I knew I had to do that again. These guys are so good and you can make so many birdies out here so fast and I know that. I’m not really worried about the board, I’m worried about the end number. So if I can get another six tomorrow, I might be tough to catch. I’m trying to stay alive out here, it’s so hot anyway. Of course everybody wants to win, it would be nice to do it, get the year started off right, but it is what it is. I’m going to go out and try to hit a little better, make some putts and we’ll see what happens.

Xander Schauffele (Usa) – Third round 67 (-5), Total 199 (-17)

I went up against a 64 and a 65 today, so I was the hack of the group today, but happy with how I played. It’s fun. You would much rather have the group chasing forward up the leaderboard than kind of stagnant. So it’s all good. You know, watching both those guys make putts is always a good thing visually for me. Like I said, you want to see guys making putts in front of you. Then you feel like the hole’s just a little bit bigger. I’m playing with Pat again, which was a lot of fun today. We’ll have to figure a number out tomorrow on the course probably.

Sung Kang (Kor) – Third Round 65 (-7), Total 200 (-16)

Yeah, I played pretty good today, and Pat really made a lot of putts today. So, I mean, I had some chances but I didn’t putt as well as, I mean, I should have. So hopefully tomorrow I putt a little bit better than today and have some good start. There’s a lot of birdie opportunities so I look forward to it. If he shoots 4 under it will be same score, so who knows. I’ll try my best tomorrow. Both days were pretty hot anyway so it doesn’t really matter to me.

Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Third round 63 (-9), Total 201 (-15)

I knew the guys atop the leaderboard were going to extend their lead and I was hoping to get 12, 15 under at the start of the day. I might have left a couple out there. There were a couple of shorter putts that I wasn’t able to convert, but all in all, I’m very happy with the round I played today. I’ll just go home, get some rest and tee it up tomorrow and do my very best. You know, with the way Pat is playing, I don’t know if he can be caught or not.

Ends.

About CIMB Group

The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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