Sunday's roundup: Perez rallies to win OHL Classic

Associated Press, The Detroit News
Pat Perez plays his shot from the 17th fairway during the final round Sunday of the OHL Classic.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico  — Pat Perez won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on Sunday in his third start since returning from shoulder surgery.

Perez closed with a 4-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over third-round leader Gary Woodland on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. Perez finished at 21-under 263.

“I had an attitude that I can’t really repeat, but I had a lot of thoughts going on,” Perez said. “The main one was I wanted to stay aggressive. I knew if I just stayed aggressive I was seeing the line great on the putting green. … This type of grass and these greens, if you can get it on line you can make them.

“I just saw the line, I thought I could make them all and I just had a confidence. I had an entirely different attitude than I would have had a few years ago. It was definitely a different win than last time. Last time, I was a little more scared coming down the stretch. I didn’t really believe and this and that. This time, I really had like this calmness, kind of like a madness to get it done.”

Perez had surgery on his shoulder in February. He returned with a tie for 33rd in Malaysia, and tied for seventh last week in Las Vegas.

“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 shot a 62 on Saturday to pull within a stroke of Woodland. The 40-year-old former Arizona State player birdied five of the first eight holes and had a bogey on the par-4 12th.

“In a lot of ways, when you win you’ve got to have a lot of things go your way,” Perez said. “You’ve got to make a lot of putts, you need some help from other players. It’s everything. It’s so hard to win. But I just had this different look about it this week and I’ll hopefully carry that through for a while.”

He also won the 2009 Bob Hope Classic.

“I guess I’m just one of those late-maturers,” Perez said. “I know I was sort of a punk and all that early on, but I think I learned a lot about myself in the last nine, 10 months and it just paid off this week. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s going on.”

Woodland birdied the final two holes for a 70.

Russell Knox was third at 18 under after a 66.

“I wasn’t all that comfortable out there.” Knox said. “This course kind of makes you put the steer on sometimes, but I made seven birdies. A couple mistakes, but overall starting the day I would have taken 66.”

Chez Reavie (67), Kevin Streelman (65) and Scott Piercy (70) were 17 under.

“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, pointing to a second-round 73. “Obviously, it’s early in the year and real excited.”

Tour Champions

Paul Goydos and Bernhard Langer got the big trophies and checks in the PGA Tour Champions’ season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Goydos completed a wire-to-wire victory in the tournament, and Langer finished second to win his third straight season points title and fourth overall.

Goydos shot a 4-under 66 to finish at 15-under 195 on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. He opened with a 62 in windy conditions and shot a 67 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead in the final round.

Langer had a 64. Recovering from a left knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the playoff opener at Sherwood, the 59-year-old German star won the $1 million annuity as the Charles Schwab Cup season champion and also topped the tour with four victories and $3,016,959.

Colin Montgomerie had a 68 to finish third at 11 under.

The 52-year-old Goydos earned $440,000. He also won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in July in New York and has four victories on the 50-and-over tour. He won twice on the PGA Tour.

LPGA

Carlota Ciganda rallied to win the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational for her second LPGA Tour victory in four starts.

The 26-year-old Spaniard shot a 4-under 68 at Club de Golf Mexico for a two-stroke victory over six players. She played the four par-5 holes in 5 under, making an eagle on No. 2 and birdies on 6, 11 and 17.

Ciganda won the LPGA KEB-Hana Bank Championship a month ago in South Korea for her first tour title. The former Arizona State player has five straight top-10 finishes.

Ciganda won a year after finishing second Inbee Park on the tree-lined course.

Third-round leader Austin Ernst had a 71 to drop into a tie for second with Angela Stanford (69), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (67), Karine Icher (69) and Sarah Jane Smith (70).

Tournament host Ochoa won 27 LPGA Tour titles. The Mexican star retired in 2010. She will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year.

European Tour

Alex Noren rallied to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge, rebounding for a third-round 75 with a 63 for a six-stroke victory in Sun City, South Africa.

The 34-year-old Swede has four European Tour victories this season.

Noren was 9 under through the first 11 holes at Gary Player Country Club. He finished at 14-under 274 and earned $1.16 million to move into third place in the Race to Dubai standings entering the season-ending World Tour Championship next week in Dubai.

Third-round leader Jeunghun Wang of South Korea had a 75 to finish second.