Pat Perez is 44, has played on the PGA Tour since 2002, won three times and accumulated $26.7 million in career earnings on the golf course.
Along the way, he’s also made some noise as one of the most outspoken players in the game with his carefree demeanor, occasional quick temper and his look — long dark hair cascading down his shoulders from the back of his flat-brimmed ballcap.
Perez, after shooting a 4-under 68 in Thursday’s opening round of the Workday Charity Open, shot 72 in each of the next three rounds to finish tied for 39th at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
In the recent months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perez quietly has been making a difference off the golf course, helping to raise millions of dollars to supply front-line workers with personal protective equipment when it’s been in dangerously short supply.
Because Perez’s personality is so big, he knows more people than most, which is the reason he’s been such a linchpin in helping during this crisis.
Through a mutual acquaintance, Perez, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., met Brent Skoda, the chairman of Urgent Response Network, in March when COVID-19 was at its early height of crisis in the U.S.
Skoda brainstormed an idea to raise money to produce PPE for the front-line workers and, in Skoda’s words, with the help of Perez and his high-profile connections the project “grew like wildfire.’’
Before the end of March, they had raised more than $12 million and “moved millions of units of PPE,’’ according to Skoda, who only met Perez for the first time in March.
“Our first office in Arizona was at Pat’s house,’’ Skoda told The Post by phone recently. “Pat was immediately super-inspired by what we were doing and felt like this was a real need to be addressed. Pat knows that he has a pretty powerful network. He and I wrote a letter to President Trump, we wrote to [Canadian] Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau and the president of Mexico [Andrés Manuel López Obrador] and outlined the protocol with what we’re doing.
“Pat opened up his network, his connections in the state of Arizona, and leveraged his network to try to help. He has an unlimited Rolodex. Pat is one of the only Mexican-Americans on the PGA Tour, so he was well-supported for this platform.’’
The PPE they acquired came from Mexico and was trucked to Arizona.
“Pat is a super-human beast,’’ Skoda said. “He’s perfect for us. Pat’s whole MO is no BS and straight to the point.’’
Perez downplayed his part in the project and pushed credit to Skoda for coming up with the idea and executing it.
“Brent and his team were creating this Urgent RN, we got to talking, he said they had access to this PPE stuff,’’ Perez told The Post. “All I’ve done is reach out to people because I felt like I could help. I have the time and I have the Rolodex to help out. That’s been my involvement in it. I’m not banging the phones. I’m here to try to help make introductions and try to help out the state of Arizona and hopefully even more.’’
Arizona is one the U.S. states, along with California, Texas and Florida, where COVID-19 cases have been spiking, increasing the need for the PPE for the front-line workers.
“All I’m doing is help get leads,’’ Perez said. “I’ve got a lot of people I know who are hurting. I’ve reached out to CEO friends to help. I have a platform here. I’ve been in Arizona for 22 years, went to Arizona State and I know a lot of people in this town. I don’t really have any stake in the game. I’m just trying to help out.’’
As we’ve learned in this time of crisis, every little bit helps.