KirkwoodGolf: GLOBAL GOLF POST: Pettersson Among Tour Heavyweights

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

GLOBAL GOLF POST: Pettersson Among Tour Heavyweights

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S. CAROLINA I Intent on taking the next step in his professional career prior to the 2009 season, Carl Pettersson lost 30 pounds - and his golf swing.

He regained the weight the next year. "Drink 10 beers and eat a tub of ice cream before you go to bed and it'll put it back quick," Pettersson said. But he didn't feel his game fully returned until late last year.

It was vintage Pettersson at Harbour Town Golf Links, winning the RBC Heritage by five strokes overZach Johnson for his fifth career victory.
"It's fun playing again," Pettersson said.
Pettersson has been one of the PGA Tour's steadiest players for a decade, despite the dip in 2009 when he finished outside the top 125 on the money list. He goes about his business, tends to keep to himself and when he finds his groove, he can be very good.
His long-time buddy Tim Clark, who preceded Pettersson at N.C. State, said he saw his friend's game click into gear three weeks ago at the Shell Houston Open. Pettersson finished second there, spent Masters week at home in Raleigh, N.C, and picked up at Harbour Town and finished what he started in Houston.
"Once he gets it going, he can go low," said Clark, with whom Pettersson shared a house at Hilton Head. "He can certainly shape the golf ball, hit it high, hit it low. He's not a super-technical player but (HarbourTown) is great for him."
Pettersson siphoned any potential drama about a gorgeous Sunday afternoon with three birdies in his first five holes. Coupled with a triple-bogey by Colt Knost at the par-4 third hole, Pettersson had a five-stroke advantage by the time he made the turn and only had to avoid falling into Calibogue Sound to win his first tartan jacket.
"With a five-shot lead and nine to go, it's yours to blow," Pettersson said.
He led the field in greens in regulation (50 of 72) and he needed only 104 putts in 72 holes.
Zach Johnson tried to make a run at Pettersson early in the day but couldn't generate enough momentum, finishing second. Knost shook off his early triple-bogey to finish solo third, equalling his best career finish earlier this year at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Petterson, wearing his new tartan jacket, has no plans to abandon his current lifestyle, preferring it to the diet and fitness regimen that didn't work for him.
"We're not running marathons here," Pettersson said. "Some of these guys are overdoing it a little bit. I feel fit enough to get around 18 holes."