Hats off to Pat Perez.
And I didn’t think I’d be writing that after he annoyed literally everyone in golf for failing to shout “fore” when his ball clattered into spectators not once but twice at the Genesis Open.
In case you weren’t on Twitter on Thursday evening, two-time PGA Tour winner Perez was all the rage because he had just said what he thinks about Tiger Woods(!)
Speaking on his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show ‘Out of Bounds’, which he co-hosts with ESPN’s Michael Collins, Perez went on quite a rant:
He is still the biggest name in the game, I don’t care what anybody says. He’s the biggest name in the game. He is the needle mover. He is the needle. It’s the bottom line. He is everything in the game still today until he walks away. I don’t care what Dustin, Jordan, Jason Day, Rory… I don’t care what they do, Tiger is the name and he is the game of golf as we know it today. But the bottom line is, he knows he can’t beat anybody.
But he’s got this new corporation he started, so he has to keep his name relevant to keep the corporation going. So he’s going to show up to a few events, he’s going to try to play, he’s going to show his – what’s the bag? Monster? – he’s got to show the Monster bag, he’s going to show the TaylorMade driver, he’s going to get on TV. He’s got the Nike clothes, he’s got to keep that stuff relevant.
But the bottom line is he knows he can’t beat anybody. He knows it. I mean he shot 77. That guy can’t shoot 77. What does he do the next day? ‘Ah my back’s gone.’ He knows he can’t beat anybody. I told you. He’s not going to come out and play and play poorly. I said this how many months ago? He’s not going to do it for a long time.
When Collins asks Pat Perez if Woods will make it to the Masters, he replied:
I don’t know. If he doesn’t play Augusta then it’s over. I can tell you that right now. If he does not play Augusta, it’s over. I said he was going to pull out in one of these events and we were not going see him play five events. I called it early. Nobody believed me.
Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year. I think he’s out. I don’t think you’ll see him again. The only thing he’s going to care about is Augusta. He hasn’t played that course at the US Open; I don’t even know where the British is – where’s the British? I couldn’t tell you, I have no idea; the PGA is at Quail Hollow, he’s only played there a couple of times. So it’s not like he’s got his favourite major courses after Augusta.
I’m telling you. I don’t think you’re going to see this guy again. The guy can’t show up to an interview – what makes you think… he thinks he can beat somebody? The guy can’t stand in an interview!
What a disgrace! How dare he? I am outraged. The insult to end all insults. I mean, how does a professional golfer NOT know where the Open Championship is being held this year?
As for Perez’s thoughts on Woods, I’ve very deliberately written out his comments verbatim to avoid accusations of misrepresenting the facts for clicks, which many media outlets were feeling the heat for on Friday. (Note to accusers: Perez says he doesn’t think we’ll see Woods play again. He literally says those words. It’s his opinion and it’s OK to disagree.)
Pat Perez, as we know, often shoots from the hip. His mouth – or sometimes lack of it, as we saw last week – can get him into trouble. But a lot of this is stating the obvious, and nothing we’re not already thinking anyway.
Tell me you haven’t sat around with your fellow golf fans and said you think Woods is done. I know I have – I’ve even said it on here. Some of my colleagues agree, some disagree – which is also absolutely fine.
No one would love it more than me if Woods found a way to overcome his back issues and come back to win again – maybe even a major. But let’s face it, it isn’t happening. And it’s about time someone in Perez’s position had the balls to say it.
So don’t be annoyed at Perez for disrespecting Woods. If anything, be annoyed at him for disrespecting golf’s oldest and finest major. Just so you know, Pat, it’s at Royal Birkdale.