Suzann Pettersen - November 27, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamNovember 27, 2012, 1:55 pm

Despite the fact that the LPGA Tour is over for 2012, she is heading to Taiwan for one more event this year. It may not be an LPGA Tour event, but she views it as official and she is looking forward to competing but after that she wants to relax and enjoy the holiday season. The lifestyle of a professional golfer is one that involves a great deal of travel and not only do you have to get used to it, you have to enjoy it if you are going to be a professional golfer. She also added that she is able to accumulate a lot of frequent flyer miles.

There is a great deal of pressure in playing professional golf but she loves that pressure and that is why she practices and works hard to get better. The more often you are in those pressure situations, the more you enjoy it and the feeling of accomplishing a goal when the heat is on never gets old. The Solheim Cup is the best example of the pressure that she has experienced in golf and it is all worth it because of the relationships you form with others and the joy you feel when you succeed.

She is friends with Michelle Wie and she defeated Wie in their Singles Match during the 2011 Solheim Cup to clinch victory for Europe. After adding that she reminds Wie that she won their match every chance she gets, she said that she really enjoys competing against her friends on Sunday because while you want to win you also make each other better. She and Yani Tseng practice together often and they inspire each other to be better players and ideally if they can be the best they can be, they will be able to help women’s golf as a whole be better.

When asked about the direction of the LPGA Tour under Michael Whan, she said that she likes the direction the tour is headed in. The LPGA Tour has changed dramatically since she first joined and it may never be that way again because back then the LPGA Tour was much a U.S. –based tour and now it is very much a global tour. The depth of talent in women’s golf is much deeper today than when she first started competing as a pro and as a result, it is much harder to win today than it has ever been. The best thing she can do is set goals for herself and work hard to achieve against the competition.

She felt that she had a good season with a pair of wins on the 2012 LPGA Tour but she would not say that she had a great year. Stacy Lewis has been the most consistent player in the world in 2012 and while Yani Tseng is still World #1, it is tempting to say that Lewis is the best player in the world right now because she has been the best player in 2012.

Pettersen was very involved in the effort to bring golf back to the Olympic Games in 2016 and when asked about the delay in the construction of the golf course in Rio, she said that she is concerned about the delay but she is not that surprised in part because golf is not a popular sport in Brazil yet. The Olympics is the biggest stage in sports and since golf is one of the world’s biggest sports, it should be on the biggest stage. When she was training to become a professional golfer, she never anticipated that she would ever be able to compete in the Olympic Games and it was very exciting to be included in the effort to bring golf back.

It is hard to say which area of the world will be impacted most by golf’s presence in the Olympics beginning in 2016 but she said that it would be surprising to see golf grow a great deal in China because there is a tradition in that country of raising kids to be Olympic Champions and China will want to develop a future gold medalist in golf just as they want to develop gold medalists in other sports.

She was glued to the television during the entire weekend of the Ryder Cup and it was unbelievable to see the momentum that Europe generated on Saturday when Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy began making putts in their afternoon match on Day Two. The United States had played incredibly well over the first three sessions but something very special happened on Saturday afternoon and then you saw what happened on Sunday.

Many of the players on the European Solheim Cup team are members of the Ladies European Tour which is among a group of smaller tours that are a bit below what the LPGA Tour is in terms of tournaments played, locations, and money. The LPGA Tour is the ultimate tour for those reasons and she used the Ladies European Tour as a stepping stone to move to the LPGA Tour and play with the best. She is very supportive of Ladies European Tour players moving to the LPGA Tour although it is also very important that the European players support their home tour and all of the Europeans do exactly that as she and others play at least three or four events on that tour every year. She is very grateful for the Ladies European Tour offers but if you want to be the best in the world, you have to play and succeed on the LPGA Tour.

Slow play is always something that the LPGA Tour as well as the players try to deal with and whenever she plays, she tries to find ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to play a round. Golf takes time and while improvements have been made over the years, it still takes too long. LPGA Tour Rules Officials like the late Doug Brecht are in a difficult situation when they have to enforce the rules on slow play and while it was difficult on Morgan Pressel when she was penalized during the Sybase Match Play Championship, it may have sent a message to a lot of players that they need to speed up their play on the course.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."