PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Throughout the first two rounds of the Honda Classic, the most widely discussed story has been about two players not in the field.
Two-time PGA Tour winner Pat Perez didn’t pull any punches when talking about Tiger Woods on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio on Tuesday, providing a brutally honest assessment of where he stands in his career.
“He knows he can’t beat anybody,” Perez said. “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 the Monster bag, he’s going to show the TaylorMade driver, he’s gonna get on TV. He’s got the Nike clothes, he’s gotta keep that stuff relevant.”
Perez, who has his own radio show he co-hosts with Michael Collins, has never been one to shy away from giving his opinion.
“Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year,” Perez said. “The guy can’t show up to an interview.”
His comments drew some serious backlash, to which Perez first responded in an ESPN.com interview Thursday.
“I had an opinion on Tiger, and I said it,” Perez said. “No one wants to see Tiger come back, compete, and win again more than me. I was the one saying that none of these guys out here today can hold a candle to what Tiger has done or still does. But we’re talking about when is Tiger gonna play again? I don’t know. If the guy can’t do a press conference, how’s he gonna play golf?”
Perez later told GolfDigest.com that he and Woods exchanged texts on Thursday. Woods was not pleased but told Perez he was entitled to his opinion, Perez said.
The two competed against each other as juniors in Southern California, including in 1993 when Perez defeated Woods at the Junior World tournament. He called it one of the highlights of his career on his show.
“It’s not like (Tiger and I) talk all the time,” Perez said. “He texted me when I won. We talk (a few times) a year. People always ask me what’s going on with Tiger. I was talking about today, not 2005. He’s got 79 wins, 14 majors. He’s the greatest ever and we will not see what he has done again in our generation. I have nothing but the utmost respect for what he has done. I’ve done nothing but praise him my entire career.”