Pat Perez, who won his first tournament since 2009 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba during the wraparound portion of the 2016-2017 season, was recently in the news for his comments regarding Tiger Woods’ potential return to the PGA Tour. Perez said on PGA Tour radio, “Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year. The guy can’t show up to an interview! If he doesn’t play Augusta, it’s over.”
Those remarks didn’t sit well with Tiger fans, but aren’t much of a surprise as Perez has always shared his honest opinion with the media over the course of his career.
On Tuesday, Perez wrote an article titled “You don’t know me” on the Players Tribune and in it he took a shot at the golf media for questioning his decision to make such remarks about one of the greatest golfers ever.
“The media often condense my entire career into a couple of moments. That stuff used to infuriate me.”
It’s quite easy for the media to condense a player’s career into something as simple as wins because that’s all people care about. No one cares how many cuts you’ve made, how many top 10 finishes you’ve had or even how many times you’ve finished third. People care about wins, drama, and stuff like Spieth’s collapse at the Masters in 2016 and even though those are the things the media writes about, it doesn’t mean that they don’t recognize a successful career.
“Some of you may think that I’m a jerk. But what I am is a straight shooter. My whole career — my whole life — has been packed into three or four moments, when there’s really so much more to it.”
Honesty from players can sometimes come across as them being a jerk. Rory McIlroy has experienced a reaction like this for sharing his actual opinion and not the PGA Tour/media/fan friendly version to questions asked during media days. It’s refreshing when your job is to cover the sport and you get an actual answer instead of something scripted, but those answers are also what people will gravitate towards.
Perez’s frustration is understandable. He feels he’s been painted in a bad light and was just sharing his honest opinion.
Make sure and give the full article a read. There is a lot of interesting stuff in it, including this nugget about Perez out-driving John Daly:
And as we walked down the fairway, we all realized something: I had hit it past John Daly. I had hit it past John Effing Daly!