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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In 32 events last season Sung Kang posted one podium and two other top 10’s. He’s one-for-two this year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- It’s back-to-back T-10 for Rafael Cabrera-Bello in the last two tries here. #Bueno.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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).
- The other two long shots Jim Herman (T-61) and Jonas Blixt (T-72) did not.
- James Hahn broke his streak of top 10’s at two but still hit the top half at T-28.
- No offense to other players from other Tours but the best non-PGA Tour member was David Lipsky at T-21.
- The best regional player was Phachara KHONGWATMAI at T-39. Yes, that was copied and pasted!
I’ll have a preview up sometime tomorrow for the CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES.
YES, THAT IS THE OFFICIAL TITLE SO I’M NOT YELLING.
See you then, thanks for reading!