French golfer Victor Perez admits his start to the DP World Tour season has been beyond his wildest dreams.
Perez started his season a bit behind the rest of the Tour after spending December with his family and making the Hero Cup his first event of the year.
He played well in the team-based Hero Cup, helping continental Europe to an eventual 14.5 to 10.5 win over Great Britain and Ireland.
He took that form into the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and rode it to a dramatic one-shot win with a final round six-under 66 to pip Min Woo Lee at the post.
“It couldn’t have been a better start,” he told the DP World Tour website. “After the Hero Cup, I was feeling pretty good with my game, but to be able to back it up in a 72-hole tournament is a completely different story and I was just really happy to carry on that form and eventually get the victory.
“The balance is always difficult because you know how hard it is to win.
“You want to enjoy your performance. You want to enjoy and celebrate with your team but you also know that the next event is equally as big as the one you played.
“So you want [to be] doing things in a certain order that have allowed you to get the best chance of winning and you want to try to replicate that the best you can the following week, which is never easy.”
Perez now has his sights set on making it into Europe’s team for the Ryder Cup.
I think everybody wants to qualify. Everybody wants to make the team. Everybody wants to contribute to winning,” he said.
“But I try to look at it more as a little bit, a holistic view as it’s part of your journey if the chips ended up falling that way, and it goes for what it is.
“I think I’ve learned that the only thing that matters in making the team is you just need to be in the points the week before.
“I think I was in the points for the longest time and ended up not being in the points at the end which was obviously disappointing, because you talk about it for so long and I’ve been asked those questions about the Ryder Cup for, you know, the entire extended Covid period.
“Because through 2020, I was obviously in very good shape to make it for the end of the year and it was delayed a year, but the questions were still the same and you get used to being in that, you know, ‘oh, how would it feel to be the blah, blah, blah, and how would it feel to do this and that?’.
“So I think you can take a lot of lessons from that. So yeah, I’m excited for the next one. It’s as good a start as I could have hoped.”