Pat Perez: ‘It’s a bit premature’ to resume PGA Tour season amid coronavirus pandemic

The PGA Tour will attempt to restart its season in June amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making it one of the first sports leagues in the United States to do so.

At least one Tour member, however, thinks it’s too soon.

“I think it’s a little early,” Pat Perez said on Tuesday, via ESPN. “But I understand what they want to do. Everybody wants sports back Of course they do. But it’s such a bigger deal than sports, it’s such a small percentage of what is going on in the world right now. People are sick, we don’t know who all has [the coronavirus]. It’s serious.

“I know they want to get a schedule together and I appreciate that, but I think it’s a bit premature. I’d be shocked if we are back June 8. What about airlines, hotels, all kinds of things? There’s a lot of questions.”

There were more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States as of Tuesday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 52,000 confirmed deaths attributed to the virus. 

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

The Tour suspended play after one round at The Players Championship in March. It announced earlier this month that play will resume at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on June 11, and continue on with a revised schedule through the end of the season before three of the four major championships take place this fall. 

At least the first four events will take place without fans in attendance — something Perez thinks will be extremely unusual. 

“They need to give us time to get ready, not everyone has a home gym or access to a gym. And not everyone flies on their own plane,” Perez said, via ESPN. “Lots to consider and work through. I understand it, but I'm not sure it will happen. What about families? No way I'm bringing my wife and daughter near a golf tournament, but how do they handle that? It's not just about golf without fans.”

Pat Perez of the United States watches his tee shot on the 8th hole during the first round of the Zozo Championship at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club near Tokyo in 2019. (AP/Lee Jin-man)

“I just have no desire to play”

Perez, a three-time PGA Tour winner who grabbed his last victory at the CIMB Classic in 2017, has been at home with his family in Arizona since the golf world shut down.

He hasn’t, however, touched his clubs.

“No golf. Haven’t even thought about playing,” Perez said, via ESPN

“I just have no desire to play. I’ve got another six weeks off. I won’t get back into it for another couple of weeks.”

Though he isn’t working on his game, that doesn’t mean Perez hasn’t been hard at work.

“We bought a house three years ago and didn't move in until Christmas Eve,” Perez said, via ESPN. “We've been remodeling that house all that time and now we've got about three years of unpacking and reorganizing to do. We're busy every day. We've got five acres of land we're not really taking care of.

“We're trying to get things done. I've been an outdoorsman, moving trees, building trenches. I've been outside for the last four weeks.”

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