Two years ago, Carl Pettersson picked up his third career PGA Tour win and finished 21st on the money list. Motivated to build on his great year, the portly Pettersson decided he should follow golf’s fitness craze, losing 30 pounds in the offseason.
Pettersson missed 14 cuts and had just one top 10 in 2009, dropping to 136th on the money list. So the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Swede ditched his diet.
“My game completely left me. I guess the timing of the swing and everything was thrown out, and I really struggled in ’09. I’ve played fairly well this year, not great, but I’ve had moments of doing good stuff, and I don’t know. You know, I’d love to be fitter, but I’m not going to go down that road again.
Pettersson stayed true to his word this week at the Canadian Open, watching the cut line in the St. George’s clubhouse Friday while downing Canadian beer. (They can make them strong up there.)
“I walked in the locker room and Jay Williamson had all the scenarios written out, and he’s like, grab a beer. Before you know it, I’d had seven beers (laughs). Made the cut. And my caddie had to drive me home. I wasn’t in that bad of shape, but I didn’t want to drive. I can usually handle seven beers.”
Pettersson woke up the next morning after making the cut on the number, and played the first four holes like he was still trying to shake off a hangover, starting out 1-over. But then something clicked, as he went 11-under his final 14 holes and lipped out on the 18th green for what would have been a 59 to climb into a tie for second.
Pettersson still trailed third-round leader Dean Wilson by four, and after another sluggish start on the front nine Sunday, the 32-year-old Swede was six back with 11 holes to go. But Pettersson rallied for a 3-under 67, which was enough to pass Wilson, who only made one birdie and shot a 38 on the back nine.
Pettersson played the back nine in 10-under on the weekend, following Rory McIlroy’s lead and storming back to win after making the cut on the number. Just a couple years ago, Pettersson would have been a casualty of that bizarre PGA Tour rule where you make the cut and get paid, but can’t play on the weekend.
“I would have missed the cut. Now they have the Saturday cut instead, which I mean, I really don’t see the point of it, really. But I guess it helps people get around quicker.”
[AP Photo/Adrien Veczan]