World number 16 Pat Perez has become an instant fan of the award-winning Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, venue for this week’s SMBC Singapore Open.
The American, one of the star attractions at the tournament, added his voice to the chorus of approval for the layout after a practice round.
“I played the course yesterday and it was fantastic. I heard from Jim Mackay, Phil’s (Mickelson) old caddy, that I was going to love it,” he told a press conference.
“It is a driver’s course, you have got to hit is straight. It kind of reminds me of The Mines course we used to play in Kuala Lumpur. It has got the water on that back side.
“I think it is awesome. The fact that you have got all the ships out there (and everything). It is such an unbelievable layout, I think they used the land perfectly. I am very excited to be here, I think the course is fantastic – it is going to be a great week.”
Perez is enjoying a career renaissance after an enforced layoff because of a shoulder injury and is currently second on the FedExCup standings on the PGA Tour.
He won in Kuala Lumpur last October at the start of the PGA Tour’s Asian swing, tied for fifth at theThe CJ Cup @Nine Bridges and was joint fourth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii earlier this month.
“I have been playing well for about 15 months now. (I have) a lot of confidence in what I am doing and (am) very excited to be playing so well,” said the 41 year old, who is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour.
“I had shoulder surgery and I was out for eight months so there was a lot of motivation to come back. Playing well, continuing my career (motivated me) and not just be one of those guys who has a surgery and kind of disappears. So a lot of motivation.
“A lot of other things that I will not get into but you know it has been well satisfying the work I put into it to see it come good. I did not think I was going to get this much success out of it. I am just enjoying the ride.”
Perez said the experience he had gained during a long career had helped him achieve some of his goals.
“Everybody is good and they can win once but when you win and have a couple under your belt and you get that lead on Sunday, you have all those feelings and thoughts which you do and which you have done, it makes it easier,” he said.
“Like Tiger (Woods), he was in the lead so many times and never lost it so he just knew he was never going to lose. You cannot buy experience, that is the thing. You have to go out and do it. Whether you go out and play terrible on Sunday or not, you are still going to learn from it. I have done that a couple of times, you learn and just hope it goes your way that day.”
The SMBC Singapore Open, which also features Major winners Sergia Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Y. E. Yang, will be played from January 18-21. The tournament is joint sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation.