Pat Perez was trying to get his PGA Tour card back after missing seven months following shoulder surgery in February.
In the third start of his comeback, Perez shot 4-under-par 67 in the final round to claim a two-stroke victory over Gary Woodland at in the OLH Classic at Mayakoba at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
The 40-year-old Perez finished at 21-under 263, including a 62 in the third round, and earned a two-year exemption on the circuit.
“I had an attitude that I can’t really repeat, but I had a lot of thoughts going on,” said Perez, from San Diego, whose only other PGA Tour victory came in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic. “The main one was I wanted to stay aggressive. I knew if I just stayed aggressive, I was seeing the line great on the putting green. … This type of grass and these greens, if you can get it on line you can make them.
“When you hit 40 and then you have surgery, it’s like, ‘Oh, God, you know, what are we going to do?’ I had sleepless nights, I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering, ‘What are we going to do? How are we going to do this? What’s going to happen here? What would happen here?’ Because all you do is sit around and think.
” … It’s so hard to win. But I just had this different look about it this week and I’ll hopefully carry that through for a while.”
Woodland, the 54-hole leader who has won twice on the PGA Tour, recorded a 70, while Russell Knox of Scotland totaled 66 and was three shots back in third.
Scott Piercy of San Diego wound up at 70 and was another stroke back in a tie for fourth with Kevin Streelman, who wound up at 65, and Chez Reavie, who had a 67.
Charles Howell III shot 66 and tied for seventh with Chris Kirk, who finished at 67, and Luke List, who came in at 68.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who opened with a 75 but bounced back with 65-65, closed with a 68 to tie for 24th.