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Victor Perez Player Profile

By: | Mon 23 Jan 2023

FRENCHMAN Victor Perez secured the biggest win of his career and boosted his Ryder Cup qualification hopes after holing a bunker shot at the penultimate hole on his way to a final round of 66 and a dramatic victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Perez, who pockets $1.5m, came out of top after a thrilling final round at Yas Links, where a host of players were in contention, to claim a third DP World Tour victory and become the first French winner of a Rolex Series event. He began the day a shot behind joint leaders Shane Lowry, Francesco Molinari and Min Woo Lee.

The world No 111 produced a remarkable bunker hole-out at the par-three 17th to take a two-shot lead into the final hole, where a bogey was enough to end the week on 18 under and claim a one-shot victory.

“That bunker shot was probably the greatest shot I've ever hit," Perez said.

Playing partner Sebastian Soderberg ended tied-second alongside Lee, who almost found the final-hole eagle required to force a play-off, while Padraig Harrington's bid to become the oldest winner in DP World Tour history ended with a fourth-place finish. Molinari closed with a 71 to end the week in a tie for fifth, while Lowry stumbled to a disappointing 76.

Perez, who helped Continental Europe win the Hero Cup seven days earlier, said: "I got off to a good start, and I was just focusing on me and trying to do the best I can because I knew you can't control what everybody else is doing, and I was just trying to plod along.

"But Seb played fantastic and was right there and never gave me an opening. I'm delighted to finish on top. It was a crazy finish, but I feel like I'm used to that now. Hopefully I can make it a little easier for the next one."

Speaking about his bunker shot at the 17th, Perez added: "It wasn't actually as difficult as a bunker shot because it was downhill to the hole, flat at the hole and into the wind.

"So I was basically trying to fly it all the way to the hole, and if I hit it a little bit heavy it was maybe going to release.

"But in the back of my mind, I'm just thinking Seb is going to make a two and it's three and a half from where I am, pretty much.

"Hopefully I make a three and maybe I make a four and then we are tied with the last hole to go. It came up maybe a little skinny, I'm not going to lie, and spun back and the fortune of the ball going in which is probably the greatest shot I've ever hit."

Player Profile

Victor Perez was born on September 1, 1992 in Semeac, France. As an amateur he represented France at the Eisenhower Trophy in 2014. He turned professional in 2015 and began his career on the Alps Tour, finishing the 2016 season in fifth place in the order of merit to qualify for the Challenge Tour in 2017. In his first season he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the DP World Tour but in 2018 he finished third on the order of merit, which earned him his card for the DP World Tour for the 2018-19 season. He finished third at the Hong Kong Open and in September 2019 he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and finished the season 13th in the Race to Dubai. In January 2020 he was runner-up in the Abu Dhabi Championship and in October finished second at the BMW PGA Championship. In May 2022 Perez won the Dutch Open, beating Ryan Fox in a playoff. And he finished fourth at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in 2021.

His victory at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Championship was his third win on the DP World Tour. He began the week in 160th place in the Race to Dubai and history in Abu Dhabi took him to the top of the standings. He began the week ranked 111th in the world.

Perez averages 305.86 yards from the tee and hits 55.88% of fairways. He hits 69.49% of greens in regulation, gets up and down from the sand 52.24% of the time, averages 29.65 putts per round and his stroke average last season was 71.14.

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Tags: WITB Tour Pro player profile in the bag european tour dp world tour

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