“It’s a scary thing,” he said.
He gradually started to feel like his old self, and then his comeback received a boost in the form of a call from the tournament director Todd Rhinehart, who offered him an exemption into last October’s CIMB Classic. The decision, Rhinehart said in an email from Malaysia, was a no-brainer because Perez “had supported the CIMB Classic for so many years.” He added, “We have been so happy for him to have such a wonderful year and bounce back the way he has.”
A grateful Perez tied for 33rd in Malaysia and recorded top-seven finishes in his next three starts, including his second career tour victory at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
The win, his first since the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, propelled Perez, 41, to his best season, culminating in his first appearance in the FedEx Cup playoff season finale. He is the oldest player in this week’s field and the third-oldest Tour Championship rookie, after the 44-year-old Vijay Singh in the playoffs’ first year in 2007 and the 42-year-old Jerry Kelly in 2009.
“The fact that I’m here, for one, and have done it at 41, coming back from surgery, it’s just fantasy land,” said Perez, who…