The 19th Hole: CIMB Classic

19th Hole

A quick recap of 19 things I noticed during the CIMB Classic.

Pat Perez picked up his second win in 11 months as he fired 24-under-par 264 to defeat Keegan Bradley by four shots.

  1. Perez isn’t going anywhere. He’s loose and confident and believes in himself and what he’s doing. He posted 24-under-par to win by four and didn’t need a birdie in his last 10 holes (all pars). At 41 and comfortable in his skin, we might be watching the 2017-18 Charley Hoffman.
  2. Quick: Name the last time Keegan Bradley was runner-up on Tour? If you said 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational, you’re correct. If I asked you to name the last time he hit the top 10 at the CIMB you would have had two choices in the last three years before this week.
  3. Xander Schauffele had every reason to mail it in this week and just play 72 holes. Pros who have been following his progress noticed there wasn’t much of a let-off after his break-out performance at Erin Hills or his win at Greenbrier either. I’m not worried about much, if anything, here.
  4. In 32 events last season Sung Kang posted one podium and two other top 10’s. He’s one-for-two this year.
  5. Cameron Smith’s first event on the PGA Tour he finished T-5 at the 2015 CIMB, the same finish as this year. Not bad for three starts for the Aussie.
  6. So much for being tired! Hideki Matsuyama didn’t touch a club for two weeks, showed up, fired 16-under and finished T-5. He’s now 58-under the last three years at this event with all three finishes inside the top five. #Automatic.
  7. With an opening round 77 and being lineup up almost everywhere in fantasy land, Paul Casey made for a tough Thursday morning. New gamers learned a couple valuable lessons this week. One, in a no-cut tournament, let them complete 72 holes before flipping your biscuits. Two, Casey doesn’t mail it in when he could have easily done so. He was 19-under the final three rounds. He was my OAD and I’ll take his T-7 and run to the bank!
  8. After four MC’s and a WD to close last season Danny Lee returned to the top 10. This wasn’t the track I had in mind for his recovery as he was 16-under in his previous four trips before posting 14-under this year for T-7.
  9. With only two finishes of his last nine outside the top 40, Lucas Glover is confirming the suspicions that he needs a look almost weekly in multiple formats.
  10. It’s back-to-back T-10 for Rafael Cabrera-Bello in the last two tries here. #Bueno.
  11. The course historians in the bunch will also remind that Anirban Lahiri is an annual must-play here. He won the 2015 Malaysian Maybank event here plus led after 54-holes last year. He adds another top 10 with T-10 this week.
  12. Weird numerical: Brendan Steele won the Safeway last year and followed with T-26 at this event. This year he won Safeway again and finished T-13. If he wins Safeway again NEXT YEAR does that me he’s T-1 in 2018? Stay tuned. MATH PEOPLE JUST MAKE AN EXCEPTION.
  13. No three-peat for Justin Thomas, which is hardly a surprise given the infrequency of that happening on Tour. Remember, you made a decision, rightly or wrongly, learn from it and move on.
  14. Kevin Na’s streak of rounds under par concluded at 17 as he retreated with 73 and 75 during the middle rounds. Nothing lasts forever, not even cold Na-vember Rain…
  15. My Dark Horse of the week Luke List showed out T-13. #OnTheRecord and three other long shots went T-7 (Glover) and T-23 (Patrick Rodgers).
  16. The other two long shots Jim Herman (T-61) and Jonas Blixt (T-72) did not.
  17. James Hahn broke his streak of top 10’s at two but still hit the top half at T-28.
  18. No offense to other players from other Tours but the best non-PGA Tour member was David Lipsky at T-21.
  19. The best regional player was Phachara KHONGWATMAI at T-39. Yes, that was copied and pasted!


Coming Next:

I’ll have a preview up sometime tomorrow for the CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES.


See you then, thanks for reading!

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