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Victor Perez: “The PGA Tour, the objective of all gamers…”

After his first victory within the Rolex Collection, Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the hero of the day, Victor Perez, spoke about his progress delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the way he regained his emotions this winter.

You win early within the season, when there’s the Ryder Cup in September. How do you are feeling after such a victory?

I felt that I had ready myself nicely, taking the time to work on what I wished to work on. It is troublesome and it is uncommon to get there, as a result of the season is so busy, with so many tournaments. It isn’t straightforward to coach nicely, and also you additionally must relaxation. I made a decision to not play in any respect in December to arrange nicely for the next season, with after all the Ryder Cup in my sights.

I took a slap (on the PGA Tour), I needed to be humble, however it’s typically like that in a profession

When did the primary optimistic alerts arrive?

Final week (Editor’s word, on the Hero Cup), I used to be in a position to begin seeing the place my sport was at, in match play, with a accomplice to assist me out. Guido (Migliozzi) rescued me a number of instances. All of the sudden, I seemed like taking part in nicely, after which hastily I discover myself on their own. I had single towards Jordan (Smith) on Sunday (Editor’s word, victory 4&2), it gave me confidence, however it was only a spherical of golf. So coming right here and placing all of it collectively over 72 holes, on a tricky course, with the wind, having solely performed one spherical in cooler situations on Friday morning, I can solely be delighted with this victory.

Does this victory change your objectives for the approaching season, particularly in relation to the ten inexperienced charges to be received on the PGA Tour?

Ideally, I feel that is the objective for all gamers. And we’re fortunate that the DP World Tour offers us this chance. Will probably be simpler to go on the PGA Tour with these ten playing cards to take on the finish of the season. And as Rory McIlroy and different Jon Rahm will robotically qualify, will probably be doable to acquire a card by being round twentieth place in Europe, with out essentially needing to be within the prime 50 worldwide. As a result of if you do not have sufficient factors, you need to carry out nicely or go to the finals of the Korn Ferry Tour to have an opportunity… It’s extremely troublesome. We will be known as on the final second to play a event. It’s kind of like taking part in exterior, in a manner. We’re not at all times welcome, the atmosphere is completely different, and now we have to show that we’re able to taking part in nicely in huge tournaments.

The individuals dwell and breathe golf in Scotland, they’re at all times supporting us, they actually need us to succeed, however they don’t seem to be intrusive in any respect

How does it really feel to complete first of the “Scots”? And what does it convey you to dwell in Scotland?

It is improbable. I’ve lived in Scotland for six years, and the tradition of golf, all through the UK, is one thing that helps me develop my sport. The individuals dwell and breathe golf in Scotland, they’re at all times supporting us, they actually need us to succeed, however they don’t seem to be intrusive in any respect. Right here, individuals have loads of respect for skilled golfers, and the Scots are at all times joyful to see us apply on the driving vary, with out disturbing us.

Is European golf progressing in your opinion?

I feel European golf is in excellent form and we noticed that final week on the Hero Cup. It makes me much more joyful than my private outcomes. There are loads of Europeans who’re beginning to do nicely on the PGA Tour. Some have been on the Hero Cup final week. They performed nicely, and now they are going again to the PGA Tour. It evokes us, it is one thing all of us wish to do.

It isn’t reasonable to suppose that we’ll keep within the prime 5 or the highest 10 on this planet for 15 years. It is doable, however it takes loads of work.

In 2019, you have been twenty ninth on this planet rankings, it was 12 months for you. Then there was the Covid. What have you ever accomplished since and the way do you clarify that issues have gotten higher because the finish of final 12 months?

It was actually troublesome for me as a result of I used to be on an amazing run of performances, on the finish of 2019 and till the start of 2020. I completed 2nd in Abu Dhabi in 2020 on the opposite course , the one we performed final week (Editor’s word, Abu Dhabi Golf Membership), and I used to be actually on prime of my sport. I had entered the highest 50. My dream was coming true… Enjoying the Masters, taking part in the Majors, in entrance of lots of people. And hastily, from sooner or later to the subsequent, every little thing stopped. There have been deaths, it is horrible, so we needed to cease, that is for certain, and measures have been put in place in order that we are able to play once more.

Do you remorse this primary expertise on the PGA Tour?

4 months later, the PGA Tour began once more, with exact guidelines, however for me it was very troublesome as a result of I had to enter exile in america. We could not practice within the UK for a very long time. And if I look again, two years in the past, it wasn’t reasonable to suppose that I may get ends in America once I hadn’t performed golf for 4 months, towards guys who had educated and knew the routes. It was unplayable.

Do you suppose, wanting again, that it is best to have stayed in Europe?

I’ll have been a little bit candid, however I wasn’t going to cease taking part in fully both. So okay, I took a slap, I needed to be humble, I got here again to Europe, however that is typically how it’s in a profession. There are sure to be ups and downs, good years and dangerous years. It isn’t reasonable to suppose that we’ll keep within the prime 5 or the highest 10 on this planet for 15 years. It is doable, however it takes loads of work.

Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Photographs Europe by way of AFP

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