Pettersson Making Name for Himself

By Associated PressMarch 13, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- His birthplace is Sweden, even though Carl Pettersson doesn't look the part.
 
He wears regular golf attire -- no pink pants, tight-fitting shirts or the bill of his cap flipped up. He sounds different than most of them, having moved to England at age 10 and then North Carolina as a teenager.
 
Carl PetterssonIn fact, Swedish golf officials didn't even realize Pettersson was one of their own until they saw his name in the college rankings a few years ago.
 
'The Swedish national coach called me up and asked if I was Swedish,' Pettersson said. 'He wanted to know if I wanted to play for Sweden. I guess that was the first time somebody in Sweden had ever heard of me.'
 
That could change this weekend at the Honda Classic.
 
The 26-year-old whom Jesper Parnevik jokingly referred to as a 'mystery Swede' made it no secret that he's the guy to beat on the Sunrise course at Mirasol.
 
Pettersson shot a 4-under-par 68 Friday, giving him a three-shot lead over Brad Faxon (66) and Todd Hamilton (66). At 13-under 131, Pettersson has the largest 36-hole margin on the PGA Tour this year.
 
'I've never had a 36-hole lead,' he said. 'We'll see what happens.'
 
He has had some success, although nothing that would make him a household name.
 
Pettersson was tied for the first-round lead in the 2002 British Open at Muirfield and still in contention Saturday afternoon until a sloppy finish knocked him out of the picture.
 
He was the runner-up no one remembers at the Buick Invitational last year at Torrey Pines -- Pettersson was never a factor, and finished four shots behind Tiger Woods.
 
Now, he has a chance to make a name for himself.
 
'It all depends on the weekend,' Pettersson said.
 
He will play the Sunrise course Saturday with Faxon, who was exceptional as ever with his putter. Faxon had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch -- one of them after a fortunate bounce off a trash can -- and saved par on four of his final five holes in making a 36-hole cut for the first time this year.
 
Faxon tore ligaments in his right knee over Thanksgiving, decided not to have surgery and is slowly putting his game together.
 
'The last two weeks there's been some good progress in my knee,' he said.
 
Hamilton was an All-American on Oklahoma's golf team, but that was back when Barry Switzer was the football coach. He has spent most of his 17-year career in Asia and finally got through Q-school last year. That makes him a 38-year-old rookie on the PGA Tour, and another guy who would love to make a name for himself at Mirasol.
 
The only difficulty Pettersson has faced this week is how to pronounce his name.
 
He was called 'PET-er-son' when he was in contention at Muirfield two years ago. But having spent the last 11 years in the United States, and married a girl from North Carolina, he decided to go with 'Peterson.'
 
Parnevik takes it one step farther, referring to him as 'the only redneck Swede on the planet.'
 
For two days on the Sunrise course at Mirasol, he's simply been the best golfer.
 
Pettersson opened with a 63, although Faxon and Hamilton surpassed him on the leaderboard by the time the Swede teed off in the afternoon.
 
He hit a 6-iron into 12 feet for birdie on the par-3 11th (his second hole), and got away with a slight miss on the difficult 14th. Pettersson was trying to land his 7-iron from 181 yards, some 15 feet right of the hole, pulled it slightly and came within inches of holing out for eagle.
 
His lone bogey came from a fairway bunker on No. 2, but he atoned for that by smashing a 3-wood from the left rough to the front of the green on the par-5 fifth, two-putting from nearly 100 feet for birdie.
 
Pettersson still has his work cut out for him.
 
While Mirasol has been kind and gentle, all it takes is a little wind to make the elevated, heavily contoured greens turn even the good shots into a potential disaster.
 
The cut, which was a record 6-under last year at the Sunset course, was even par.
 
Greg Norman, making his 2004 debut, looked like he might make the cut until he hit a provisional ball on the 13th hole fearing his tee shot was in the hazard. Players are not allowed to hit provisional shots unless the ball is believed to be lost or out of bounds, and Norman wound up disqualifying himself.
 
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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.