Pat Perez wins OHL Classic at Mayakoba

The 40-year-old finished two clear of Gary Woodland with Russell Knox third

Pat Perez wins OHL Classic
Pat Perez wins OHL Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pat Perez claimed his first PGA Tour victory for seven years in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. The 40-year-old finished two clear of fellow American Gary Woodland. Scotland’s Russell Knox was third.

This was only Pat Perez’s third start on the PGA Tour since returning after should surgery earlier this year. He’s made quite a comeback. He was tied for 33rd in the CIMB Classic, tied for 7th in the Shriners last week and now a champion again at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, winning for the first time since the 2009 Bob Hope Classic.

"When you hit 40 and then you have surgery, it's like `Oh, God, you know, what are we going to do?'" Perez said. "I had sleepless nights, I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering, `What are we going to do? How are we going to do this? What's going to happen here? What would happen here? Because all you do is sit around and think. That's all you have time is to sit around. You're just sitting in a sling doing nothing and you can't hit balls for five months. I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things."

Perez put himself right into contention with a superb 62 in the third round and then moved to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies in his first eight holes on Sunday.

The chasing pack quickly found themselves battling for second place and it was Gary Woodland who eventually took that position with birdies at his closing two holes. Scotland’s Russell Knox closed with a 66 to end the week in third place.

3 Talking points from the OHL Classic at Mayakoba

1 – Pat Perez displayed superb grit and determination to close out the victory at Playa del Carmen. After a long recovery period following surgery, the 40-year-old believes he is mentally stronger than before his enforced layoff, with a strengthened will to win. “I woke up this morning and knew I was going to win,” he said afterwards. “Before I would get near the lead or this and that and go, oh, okay, now what? Got to hit it over here, got to hit it over here. I didn't play that way today. I stayed on the throttle.

2 – Russell Knox came up just shy of victory for a second straight year in Mexico. Last season he lost out in a playoff to Graeme McDowell, this time out he was third despite a fine 66 in the final round. But the Scot is feeling positive about his current form. This was his third top-10 finish of the new PGA Tour season. “I'm thrilled, this is my third top-10 in this wraparound year so delighted with that,” he said. “I'm enjoying my golf. I feel like I'm improving each week almost and my putting's really improving, which was the big weakness. That's the key link for me.”

Graeme McDowell on judging break:

3 – Kevin Streelman made one of his trademark final round charges. He made nine birdies in a closing round of 65 to move up into a tie for fourth. It was a case of what might have been for the American though. He posted superb scores of 65, 64 and 65 in rounds 1,3 and 4 but struggled to a 73 in round two. “Great first, third and fourth rounds, just struggled there on Friday, which cost me winning the tournament, but a lot of good stuff," Streelman said. "Obviously, it's early in the year and real excited.

OHL Classic at Mayakoba El Camaleon GC, Playa del Carmen, Mexico Nov 10-13 Purse $7,000,010, par 71

1    Pat Perez (USA)        68    66    62    67    263    $1,260,002 2    Gary Woodland (USA)    64    65    66    70    265    $756,002 3    Russell Knox (Sco)    68    65    67    66    266    $476,000 T4    Chez Reavie (USA)    70    67    63    67    267    $289,333 T4    Kevin Streelman (USA)    65    73    64    65    267    $289,333 T4    Scott Piercy (USA)    65    66    66    70    267    $289,333 T7    Charles Howell III (USA) 69    64    69    66    268    $218,117 T7    Chris Kirk (USA)        63    70    68    67    268    $218,117     T7    Luke List (USA)        66    68    66    68    268    $218,117 T10    Emiliano Grillo (Arg)    68    69    66    67    270    $175,000 T10    Adam Hadwin (Can)    67    66    70    67    270    $175,000 T10    Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)    69    67    65    69    270    $175,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?