'Like Winning The Lottery' - Pat Perez On Joining LIV Golf

The three-time PGA Tour winner has compared the LIV Golf Series to winning the lottery ahead of Portland debut

Pat Perez at LIV Golf Series event in Portland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Three-time PGA tour winner Pat Perez has described the LIV Golf Series as like "winning the lottery" ahead of his debut at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland.

Perez, who turned professional in 1997 before joining the PGA Tour a year later, is considered a veteran on the circuit also revealed the lasting effect persistent travel has left on him and his family. 

"For me, it's real simple. I'm 46. I've played 515 events. I've been on the road since 1998. I have an almost four-year-old. I missed my son's birth last year. August 18, I get a call and my wife's going into labour. I'm in Jersey. I'm getting ready to start the FedEx playoffs. I'm 116 on the list. I can't leave. I can't miss it. I can't get back. I can't get there and back without spending 150 grand on a private flight. I'm not doing that. So I had to suck on it and I had to miss my son's birth."

He added: "Fortunately I made the cut and I moved up my status by playing all right, but it still sucked. I have to tell him one day why I wasn't there. And, you know, once again, I'm a 30 to 33-week guy. Every year I've done it and now I don't have to. And I get to be with them. I get to be with my family."

Perez's comments were similar to those made by Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka who both revealed that spending more time at home was a key component to joining the Saudi-backed Series.

"At my age this is an absolute golden opportunity for me. I get to play seven [events] this year and whatever else in the future. It's a no-brainer for a guy my age that's been on the road. I just had three weeks off and I feel great. I couldn't be more excited about this, and that's the bottom line. You know, the bottom line is I'm tired of being on the road every day, and I'm just - I don't have to do it now. This opportunity has been like winning the lottery for me. It's incredible. I couldn't be more excited."

Perez however, refused to be drawn into the widespread criticism the LIV Golf Series continues to receive for its association with Saudi Arabia and the continued accusations that its participants are complicit in "sportswashing" the human rights atrocities within the Kingdom. 

"I'm playing golf. This group has provided me an opportunity to play golf and have a different schedule, and that's my only concern." He added: "I understand the topics you're trying to bring up, and they're horrible events, but I'm here to play golf. That's my deal. I've got an opportunity to play golf, and that's it."

Perez will form part of Dustin Johnson's 4Aces team alongside fellow American's Talor Gooch and Patrick Reed in Portland.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.