The Case for Pettersson

By Brian HewittAugust 18, 2008, 4:00 pm
Carl Pettersen, a self-described Swedish Redneck ' isnt that an oxymoron? ' who played his collegiate golf at North Carolina State, is suddenly somebody Nick Faldo might want to consider for his European Ryder Cup team that will take on the Americans next month in Kentucky.
 
Consider this for starters: Nobody currently inside Faldos top 10 on the Ryder Cup points lists ' not even Padraig Harrington or Sergio Garcia ' has won more official PGA TOUR events since Petterssons breakthrough win at Tampa in late 2005.
 
Add to that Petterssons impressive Sunday victory at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina that, by the way, vaulted Pettersson to No. 13 on the points list for the FedExCup which kicks off its lucrative Playoffs Thursday in New Jersey.
 
At the very least, Pettersson can make a compelling case for himself. He was born in Sweden and still carries a Swedish passport. His father worked for Volvo Trucks which meant the family lived five years in England while Pettersson was growing up. Then the Petterssons moved to North Carolina where Carl attended high school before starring on the golf team at North Carolina State.
 
Hey, Nick. Looking for a hot player?
 
Pettersson fired a 29 on the front side at Sedgefield Thursday and backed that up with a 30 on the same nine Friday en route to a second round 61 which tied for the low round of the year on the PGA TOUR.
 
Wyndham was Petterssons third PGA TOUR victory. And moments after holding off runner-up Scott McCarron, Pettersson had this to say about the two captains picks Faldo will have to make in two weeks:
 
Nick, if youre watching, Im a size 36 waist and an extra large shirt. Thank you.
 
The irony here is that Pettersson is just the kind of player American captain Paul Azinger is looking for: A proven winner; a player who has won in 2008; and a hot player.
 
Faldo would prefer Pettersson to make the team on points rather than having to burn a captains choice on him. One more win for Pettersson could push him into the top 5 on the Euro world points list where he currently ranks 13th. Pettersson will not make the squad on its Euro points list where he currently ranks 106th because of his infrequent appearances on that side of the pond.
 
I know Im Swedish but I really do feel American to be honest with you, Pettersson added. But my heritage is European and I would love to play on Nicks team and I know all the European guys on the team.
 
I used to play the European Tour. I might be a little bit different. But Im going to be playing hard for Europe if I make the team.
 
Faldo could be put off by Petterssons sometimes balky putter which doesnt dovetail with the historic importance of loading up with good putters in Ryder Cup play. But the Euros might be well served by having a player happy to be considered a redneck by the time they get to Kentucky where the crowd support is expected to be not dissimilar to that you will find at an SEC football game.
 
Finally, Faldo is nothing if not independent. And picking Pettersson for his team is just the sort of contrarian move he might make, critics be damned.
 
Or as GOLF CHANNELs Peter Oosterhuis, a former Ryder Cup teammate of Faldo, said on the Sprint Post-Game show Sunday night, Nicks the kind of guy who might do something out of left field.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.