Pat Perez claims four-shot CIMB Classic win
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 15/10/17 12:18pm
Pat Perez defied intense heat and humidity as he cruised to a four-stroke victory at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
The in-form Perez coasted round TPC Kuala Lumpur in a solid three-under 69 to finish on 24 under par for the tournament, clinching his third career PGA Tour title and his second in 11 months following his win at the OHL Classic in Mexico last November.
The 41-year-old held a commanding four-shot lead overnight, and he consolidated his position when he began his final round with three consecutive birdies from the second, although he did offer a glimmer of hope to the field when he dropped a shot at the sixth.
But Perez holed a good putt for birdie at the short eighth to turn in 33, and he had the luxury of plotting his way cautiously around the back nine with none of his closest challengers able to mount a significant challenge down the stretch.
The American parred every hole on the inward nine to ensure a fourth straight sub-70 score and earn him a comfortable win over a resurgent Keegan Bradley.
"Everything is just going unbelievable," said Perez. "It's been a lot of work and a lot of dedication and it's just coming together. I'm not getting ahead of myself, I'm not going to look in the past. I'm a late bloomer.
"I'm still not going to work out, will still enjoy myself, have a bad diet! I've got my group of friends and I'm not going to
Former PGA champion Bradley made an eagle an three birdies in his 67 but was unable to pick up any shot over the last six holes and put pressure on the leader.
Tour Championship winner and recently-crowned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Xander Schauffele, stuttered a a disappointing 72 as he offset four birdies with his many bogeys to end in a share of third with Sung Kang, whose colouful 71 featured six birdies, three bogeys and a costly double-bogey seven at the 10th which effectively ended his hopes.
Australian Cameron Smith birdied the last three holes to cap a superb 64 and vault into a tie for fifth with world No 3 Hideki Matsuyama, who missed a series of chances on the outward nine and had to settle for a frustrating 71.
Paul Casey was a further two strokes adrift, although the English veteran did finish on a high as he birdied three of the first four holes and also three of the last four in a flawless 65 that clinched a top-10 finish on 14 under along with Danny Lee and former US Open champion Lucas Glover.