Suzann Pettersen - November 27, 2012


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.