Pat Perez joins lineup for Sentosa

PGA Tour star Pat Perez will debut in the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club next year, it was confirmed today by organisers.

The American hit the headlines in Kuala Lumpur last month when he claimed his third title on the PGA Tour and on the back of that he will be a brilliant addition to Singapore’s national Open, which will be played from January 18 to 21.

He joins an impressive line-up of players including reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia from Spain and South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion.

Tournament organisers also revealed that for the second successive year the tournament will be part of The Open Qualifying Series – with top-four finishers making it through to The 147th Open at Carnoustie.

And next year’s event will also see a Monday qualifier played at the start of tournament week with three places up for grabs in what will be the 52nd edition of Singapore’s national Open.

Perez’s participation is an exciting development for the event, which is jointly-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation.

“This is a great opportunity to play somewhere new and in an event that has an excellent reputation,” said the 41-year-old.

“Things have been going very well for me and I want to capitalize on my form and play more and win more.”

His participation comes as he is enjoying a career renaissance after an enforced layoff because of a shoulder injury.

Since his return to the game on a medical exemption in 2016 he has won twice on the PGA Tour – the more recent coming at what was the start of the Asian swing in Malaysia.

The self-confessed late bloomer shot a final round 69 at TPC Kuala Lumpur for a 24-under total of 264. That win saw him rise to a career high of 20th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Following the triumph, a tied fifth place finish at The CJ Cup @Nine Bridges and equal 24th at the WGC Champions event in Shanghai saw Perez top the early season FedExCup rankings.

Like many leading American players, Perez was a top college player having led Arizona State University to the NCCA team championship in 1996 – the year Tiger Woods won the individual title.

Perez played on smaller tours before gaining his PGA Tour card in 2001 and soon established himself as one of the most consistent players on the circuit.

His first win came at the Bob Hope Classic in 2009 and he reeled off numerous top 10-finishes in the next seven years without adding to his haul.

Shoulder surgery kept him out for seven months in 2016 but he returned with a bang with victory at the OHL Classic in Mayakoba that November in just his third event back.

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