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.

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Paisley (61) leads Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 20, 2018, 11:56 pm

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Chris Paisley birdied four of the last five holes for a 10-under 61 and the first-round lead Thursday in the season-ending Tour Championship.

The South African Open winner in January for his first European Tour title, Paisley played the back nine first at Atlantic Beach Country Club, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th. On the front nine, he birdied the par-3 fifth and finished with three straight birdies.

''I think just all around was really good,'' Paisley said. ''I hit it well off the tee, which gave me a lot of kind of short irons into the greens and opportunities. I hit a lot of really good iron shots close, and then a few other bonus kind of things happened where I holed the bunker shot on 18 and holed a long putt on No. 8.''

The 32-year-old Englishman missed the cuts in the first three Tour Finals events after getting into the series as a non-member PGA Tour with enough money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup. The final card went for $40,625 last year, with Paisley needs to finish in a two-way tie for fourth or better to mathematically have a chance to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour at stake.

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

''The nice thing was I won early in the year in Europe,'' said Paisley, a former University of Tennessee player. ''I've got the first two Final series events locked up, I think I'm in those. I'm not guaranteed to be in Dubai yet. But I just thought we have a house over here, my wife's American, my goal is to try to get on the PGA Tour, so it was a perfect opportunity to try and do it.''

Cameron Tringale and Canadian Ben Silverman were two strokes back at 63. Tringale is tied for 83rd in the PGA Tour card race with $2,660, and Silverman is tied for 85th at $2,600.

''I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts,'' Silverman said. ''Actually, it could have been lower, but I'm not complaining. Missed a couple putts inside 6x feet, but I'm not complaining at all, it was a great round.''

Lucas Glover was at 64 with Ben Crane, Nicholas Lindheim, Matt Every, Trevor Cone, Denny McCarthy, Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez earned PGA Tour cards as top-25 finishers on the Tour regular-season money list, and McCarthy has made $75,793 in the first three Finals events to also wrap up a card. In the race for the 25 cards, Lindholm is 19th with $35,836, Every 30th with $25,733, Glover 40th with $17,212, and Cone 59th with $8,162

The series features the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and Paisley and other non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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McIlroy likely to join PGA Tour PAC next year

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:28 pm

ATLANTA – The upside of the PGA Tour’s sweeping changes to next year’s playoff finale, along with a host of other significant changes to the schedule, seems to be more engagement in circuit policy by top players.

Jordan Spieth served on the player advisory council this season and will begin his three-year term as one of four player directors on the policy board next year, and Justin Thomas also was on this year’s PAC.

Those meetings might become even more high profile next year.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

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“I'm not on the PAC. I'm probably going to join the PAC next year. Nice to sort of know what's going on and give your input and whatever,” Rory McIlroy said following his round on Thursday at the Tour Championship.

McIlroy said he spoke with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan about the transition to a strokes-based format for the Tour Championship starting next year. Given his take on Thursday to the media it must have been an interesting conversation.

“I like it for the FedExCup. I don't necessarily think it should be an official Tour win. I don't know how the World Ranking points are going to work,” said McIlroy, who is tied for fifth after a first-round 67 at East Lake. “There's a lot of stuff that still needs to be figured out. But in terms of deciding the FedExCup, I think it's good.”

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Thomas (67) happy to feel no pain in wrist

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:03 pm

ATLANTA – When Justin Thomas arrived at East Lake he didn’t have very high expectations.

After injuring his right wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship he spent last week in south Florida getting therapy after being diagnosed with a case of tendinitis and little else.

He said he didn’t hit a full shot last week and didn’t expect much out of his game at the finale, but was pleasantly surprised with his play following an opening 67 that left him tied for fifth place and two strokes off the lead. But most of all he was pleased that he didn’t feel any pain in his wrist.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“I thought that I may not be playing very well because of my preparation being able to hit as few balls as I have, but no, in terms of pain, it's not an issue,” he said.

Thomas explained that he tested the wrist earlier this week to be sure he was pain-free and conceded he considered not playing the Tour Championship in order to be as healthy as possible for next week’s Ryder Cup.

“If it would have hurt at all, I wouldn't have played,” said Thomas, who will be a rookie on this year’s U.S. team. “No. 1 most important part is my future and my career. I don't want to do anything that's going to put me out for a while. But to me, second most important is Ryder Cup. I would rather not play this week and play the Ryder Cup and be fresh and make sure I'm going to get as many points for the team as possible.”

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Fowler 'pain free' and tied for Tour Championship lead

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:01 pm

ATLANTA – The most important member of Team USA at next week’s Ryder Cup may be the team trainer.

Justin Thomas began the season finale nursing a case of tendonitis in his right wrist and Rickie Fowler skipped the first two playoff events after being slowed by a right oblique injury.

Neither player seemed impacted by the injuries on Thursday at the Tour Championship, with Thomas tied for fifth at 3 under and Fowler tied for the lead with Tiger Woods at 5 under par.

Current FedExCup standings

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“I needed the 2 1/2 weeks or so of just sitting around really not doing a whole lot,” said Fowler, who tied for eighth last week at the BMW Championship. “It was definitely the right call. If I would have played through the first or second playoff events, there was really no benefit, especially looking at the ultimate goal being ready for the Ryder Cup and to have a chance to be here at East Lake.”

Being rested and pain-free is a vast improvement over how he felt at the PGA Championship last month, when he underwent therapy before and after each round and had to wear tape just to play.

“It's nice to be back swinging pain-free because I wouldn't have wanted to deal with how it felt during PGA week for a continued amount of time,” said Fowler, who finished his day with a bogey-free closing nine to secure a spot in Friday’s final group with Woods.