August 27 2013
Pat Perez enters this week 95th in the FedExCup standings. (Petersen/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- The FedExCup Playoffs are all about survive and advance.
Pat Perez is looking at the big picture, though.
“It’s a do-or-die situation,” said Perez, 95th in the FedExCup standings coming into Deutsche Bank Championship. Only the top 70 after this week advance to the next event. “But if I get there, I get there. If I don’t, I don’t and get to go home for a month and then start back up.
“I’m looking forward to next year and getting some things figured out and having a great year next year.”
That’s not to suggest he wouldn’t like to make it to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, or next week’s BMW Championship. His bigger concern is improving his putting.
“My putting has been too damn inconsistent this year; it’s killed me,” said Perez, who spent all of Tuesday morning at TPC Boston working on his alignment. “If I putt well, I finish high. If I don’t, I don’t play well.”
To his point, Perez has missed the cut in each his last four starts after tying for sixth at The Greenbrier Classic in July.
For the year, Perez ranks 92nd in strokes gained-putting. From inside 5 feet, he’s 154th. He’s also outside the top 100 from 5-10 feet and 10-15 feet.
And even when he has played well, his putter has at times cost him.
Perez finished eighth at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, but a few short missed putts early cost him later. The difference between, say, fourth in the tournament and where Perez finished was worth 47.5 FedExCup points, or about 10 spots in the current standings.
At this point, every little bit helps. Perhaps a return trip to TPC Boston -- a course Perez says he likes a lot -- will spark something.
Three times he has finished in the top 30 here, including in 2008, when he had three rounds in the 60s, and in 2009m when he carded a second-round 65.
But he'll need to do better than that this week to survive.
“At certain points, you have to make putts on the back nine,” Perez said. “I made them the week I won (in 2009) and that was the difference.”
It will also determine whether he stays in the Playoffs or not.