Suzann Pettersen won’t get the weekend to work some rust off in her return to the LPGA, but she assured reporters she isn’t done with tour life.
Pettersen and Catriona Matthew were among big-name teams that didn’t make the cut Thursday at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Midland, Mich.
It was Pettersen’s first LPGA start in 20 months, after taking some extended time away around the birth to her first child, Herman.
“I'll never play a full schedule again,” Pettersen, 38, said when asked what she sees in her future. “That’s for sure.”
But . . .
“I feel like I have too much golf in me to hang up the clubs,” Pettersen said. “It's a little different priority now, and I'll see how I can kind of put together a schedule that allows me to be a mom and feel like I can work enough on my game to be able to compete. You'll definitely see me out here. I'm not quite sure when, but you'll see me when you see me.”
Pettersen and Matthew combined to shoot a better-ball 4-under-par 66, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their opening-round 73 in alternate shot. They missed the cut by three shots.
Matthew is the European Solheim Cup captain. Pettersen is one of her vice captains. Is it possible we’ll see Pettersen as a playing vice captain?
“It’s up to [Pettersen],” Matthew said. “Who knows? Anything is possible.”
Pettersen didn’t divulge what she thinks about trying to play in her ninth Solheim Cup. Pettersen did say she doesn’t think she’s too far away from being in form again.
“I just really enjoyed playing, actually,” Pettersen said. “It was a tough start to come back with foursome stroke play. You can't ask any more difficulty. But I really enjoyed yesterday, and I really enjoyed today. It's just nice to hit shots under the gun, feeling some adrenaline and kind of execute. Overall, we played decent. We had a couple hiccups today and a couple hiccups yesterday, but, overall, I really enjoyed being back.”
Though there are no Solheim Cup points available this week, the biennial international team event is a large subplot, with players trying to catch the eye of Matthew and U.S. captain Juli Inkster, who will arrive Friday to watch the final two rounds.
Inkster won’t get to see two important figures in her past success as captain. The team of Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller didn’t make the cut. They’re both sitting outside the Solheim Cup qualifying standard and would need to be captain’s picks if the teams were decided today. They do have back-to-back majors coming up the next two weeks to play themselves on to the team.
The dynamic duo of Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr looked as if they were going to miss the cut before making a late rally to shoot a better-ball 64. They were two shots outside the cutline with five holes to play but made three birdies coming in. They were among favorites to win this week with 11-1-2 records as Solheim Cup and UL International Crown partners.
The rookie tandem of Maria Fassi and Jennifer Kupcho, the popular collegian stars who are early into their pro careers, also missed the cut.
The feel good story so far this week is the continuing strong play of Solheim Cup veterans Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, who teamed to shoot 64 and are sitting tied for first place at 10 under overall with the teams of Celine Boutier-Karine Icher (62) and Stephanie Meadow-Giulia Molinaro (61).
Meadow is from Northern Ireland. She would love to make some headlines back home with so much pride percolating with her country hosting The Open this week for the first time since 1951.
The team of Joanna Klatten and Celine Herbin almost put up a better-ball 59. Herbin just missed an 18-foot birdie chance at the last, with her par leaving the duo with a 60, the day’s low round. They’re three shots off the lead.