Charles Barkley 1 a.m. calls and mullets: Pat Perez’s hilarious TV analysis

Pat Perez

Pat Perez hits his tee shot on Saturday on the 4th hole at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

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Pat Perez opened this week’s Zozo Championship with rounds of 70 and 69 and was tied for 20th, but this person calling him at 1 a.m. apparently hadn’t gotten past the top 19.  

Charles Barkley would text Perez, too. 

“Yeah, he texted me this morning,” Perez said Saturday. “He called me at 1 o’clock saying, did you retire, because I hadn’t seen the name on the leaderboard, and if you did retire, let me know so I can buy you a gift. 

“I might just take the gift anyway.”

And Perez’s stint as an analyst was under way. 

Golf Channel’s booth is a little bare this week with the Zozo in Japan — George Savaricas is the announcer and Dom Boulet and Alison Whitaker are the analysts — and Savaricas teased on Twitter that players would be pitching in over the four rounds. On Thursday, Rickie Fowler dished on his wife, Butch Harmon and Hideki Matsuyama. On Friday, Charley Hoffman talked Tiger Woods

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And on Saturday, minutes after his third-round 73, the always-opinionated Perez shared thoughts on golf in Asia, Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood’s hair and how the 45-year-old “can’t wait” to play on the Champions Tour. And yes, on Barkley, NBA hall of famer, somewhat-less-than-hall-worthy golfer — and Perez’s “friend.”

Let’s have a listen:

On playing golf in Asia compared to doing so in the U.S.

“A lot quieter. The fans are very quiet. When you hit your shot and it takes off, they just, ‘Ooooh.’ They’re very excited to see it. I played behind Hideki yesterday, and the crowds are just — it’s like seeing Elvis. It really is. You know, it’s a wonderful crowd; they’re very nice people; the hospitality has been fantastic this week. I think the guys have had a great time.”

On the pressure Matsuyama faces while playing in his home country this week

“I’ve actually talked to him about it all the time. Because he has so many cameras on him all the time, and I try to talk to him and say hello and this and that, and I say, I don’t know how you deal with the cameras all the time. They watch you do everything. And he goes, I know. He goes, sometimes I pull out my hair. I go, yeah, I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t do it. But he is such a phenomenal player. He’s had it for many years now it’s second nature to him, but the pressure, I can’t imagine being the guy that he is in this country right now, and everybody wants him to win, and here he is leading and the pressure doesn’t even look like it fazes him, though.”

On the difference between his long hair and the long hair of Fleetwood

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“Tommy Fleetwood, mine’s a little more organized than Tommy’s, so I would say mine is better. He’s a lot nicer guy than I am so I might give it to him. I trim about every six months, but now I think I might let it go for a while.” 

“What’s the hair maintenance?” Savaricas asked. 

“It’s a brutal process. It really is. Mine’s longer than his so — mine comes out, and it looks like ‘Animal.’ So combing it through 40 times to try to get it straight, then fit in a hat is quite an issue.”

On playing the Champions Tour

“I actually can’t wait to get to the Champ Tour because I’m not going to have to play a hole where I have to hit a 3-wood into a par-4. That I’m really looking forward to. Three days, cart, I mean, I’m really looking forward to that. I got four and a half years. I’m hoping to have some more good years out here, try to compete and play well, but it’s nice to know I have the Champ Tour kind of in my back pocket if I want to. You know, the game’s tough. The courses are getting longer; the guys are getting better; kids are getting younger. I mean, there’s so much great talent out here now, it’s amazing. So you know, hey, I’m just doing what I do and try to get by and try to make some more cuts, try to make — keep my car card, get to the playoffs again and see where we go.”   

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor