By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
HONOLULU -- By his own admission, Carl Pettersson hasn't played to his full potential the last few years.
Sure, he won once in 2010, taking the RBC Canadian Open. But in his 84 other starts between 2009-2011, he has just nine top-10 finishes, none in the top three.
He certainly had fun in Thursday's first round at Waialae, shooting a bogey-free 5-under 65.
"I'm trying to put less stress on myself and go out on the golf course and play like I do at home," Pettersson said. "Play relaxed and whatever happens, happens.
"I did a great job of doing that today. Playing like you don't care, almost. Carefree golf."
One of more tangible reasons for his frustration in recent years was his iron play. He said he just hasn't been able to get his weight properly shifted to the left side, something he's been working on for years.
"It takes a while," he said.
Last year, Pettersson ranked 89th in greens in regulation, which was actually a vast improvement over the previous four years when he ranked outside 125 in that category.
But on Thursday, he hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation and felt much better about things.
"Hopefully I can carry that on to the rest of the year," he said. "When the irons are good, it frees up the rest of the game. You can hit a lot more greens and you don't have to get the ball up-and-down as much."
Three players who won PGA TOUR events in 2011 are among the names ranked No. 81-90 that were unveiled Friday on PGATOUR.COM’s Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012.
Below is a link to each of the 10 players who were revealed on Friday. PGATOUR.COM will countdown the players for the rest of December, with No. 1 unveiled on Dec. 30.
Be sure to check out this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list .
Let’s us know how you think these players will perform in 2012 and whether we ranked ‘em too high, too low or just right.
No. 81: Scott Piercy
No. 82: Chris Kirk
No. 83: John Senden
No. 84: Carl Pettersson
No. 85: Chad Campbell
No. 86: George McNeill
No. 87: Harrison Frazar
No. 88: Jeff Overton
No. 89: Chris Stroud
No. 90: Kevin Streelman
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE ARCHIVE PAGE/SCHEDULE FOR THE TOP 100 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2012
Chrysanthemums, or mums for short, are a staple of Southern plant life as fall approaches. Carl Pettersson met some up and close and personal on Sunday.
His opening drive went so far left that his ball landed in a row of potted mums. After a lengthy search, his ball was found ... and he was able to get his ball near the green. From 18 yards out, Pettersson chipped in for birdie to get to 13 under, only two back of Webb Simpson.
Petersson birdied the first hole three times this week.
VIDEO: Pettersson's all-world birdie on No. 1
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Carl Petterson didn't miss a fairway on Saturday, and he was handsomely rewarded during the third round of the Wyndham Championship.
Petterson fired a bogey-free 63 that included five birdies and one eagle. He was 12 under and one shot off the lead when he finished shortly after the leaders teed off =- and at the very least, Pettersson should be within striking distance when the final round begins on Sunday.
"I think the golf course is quite a bit tougher than in years past," said Petterson, who won the 2008 Wyndham Championship. "I was disappointed with shooting even but thrilled with 63 today. It's nice, I've put myself back in the tournament. I don't know what's going to happen today. I've done my bit and I probably got to shoot a low one tomorrow again."
Pettersson, who shot a 61 in the second round the year he won at Sedgefield, said the key this week is hitting fairways. He only hit six on Friday but managed all 14 in the third round. He also wielded a hot putter with just 25.
"If you put it in play, there's a ton of birdies," he said. "The golf course is in great shape. The greens are good. Hot. The ball is going a million miles. You just get it in play, you still got to make a putt. That's what I managed to do today."
Pettersson was born in Sweden but attended Grimsley High School in Greensboro after his father, who works with Volvo, was transferred to North Carolina. He played collegiately at N.C. State and has settled in Raleigh, which is about 70 minutes away.
“I was home last night,” Pettersson said. “Played with my kids and, yeah, I'll do the same thing tonight, just hang out, be home and drive up here tomorrow morning.”
He could use the same kind of round, as well.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Carl Pettersson knows better than most that you have to go low, low, low to win the Wyndham Championship.
After all, he set the tournament record of 21 under when he won the tournament in 2008 -- the first year it was played at Sedgefield Country Club.
So Pettersson, who went to high school in Greensboro and attended N.C. State, couldn't have been happy with the round of 70 he shot on Friday. When the rest of the field was moving forward, the Swede was stuck in neutral.
Pettersson is making up for lost time on Saturday, though. He has just made the turn in 31 after making two birdies and an eagle when he rolled in a 14-footer at No. 5.
Pettersson is now tied for second at 9 under. But Webb Simpson, Stuart Appleby, Ernie Els and Daniel Summerhays have yet to tee off -- and ditto for the leader, Tommy Gainey, who starts the day at 12 under.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- To say Carl Pettersson has a comfort zone at the Wyndham Championship would be an understatement.
He went to high school in Greensboro, played golf at N.C. State and now lives about 75 minutes away in Raleigh. Most importantly, at least as far as the Swede's golf is concerned, Pettersson is a former champion at Sedgefield Country Club in his adopted hometown.
"The golf course is pretty much the same," said the man who won the 2008 Wyndham Championship, the first time it was played on the Donald Ross layout. "The rough is up a little bit this year. It's nice to play somewhere where you've done well. I always enjoy coming here and playing here. I grew up in Greensboro. I got good mojo."
Pettersson said he "didn't do anything spectacular" on Thursday. He did get that mojo working with a birdie on the first hole, though. He went on to play his first 12 holes in 5 under and didn't drop a shot to par all day.
"I gave myself decent chances," Pettersson said of the homeward stretch. "I didn't make the putts. Tough to make them all. I played good. I stayed aggressive and kept firing at pins and couldn't get the ball in the hole last couple of holes but made a nice up-and-down on 18 for par which is nice."
Pettersson planned to work on his short game after lunch before making the drive home to Raleigh. He's got an afternoon starting time for Friday so he'll have a more leisurely time prior to the second round.
Pettersson came to the Wyndham Championship ranked 69th in the FedExCup -- the highest of any of the players in the top 10 on the leaderboard when he finished. He's made three of the four previous Playoffs but only once has advanced to THE TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
"I'd like to do better, obviously," Pettersson said. "Everybody does. I think I'm in the first two but I might have a great finish here and play well in the Playoffs. I haven't really done too good in the Playoffs in the past and I'm coming off two weeks off. I'm well rested for this event and the upcoming playoffs which I think will be nice."
Carl Pettersson hit 10 under in just one round last year at the RBC Canadian Open. From listening to him speak, the defending champion isn't sure anyone will reach 10 under over four rounds at the par-70 Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.
As for shooting 60, Pettersson joked that he'd have 60 strokes "after 14 holes."
That's because the rough is as thick as he's seen this year. It rivaled the nasty rough seen two weeks at the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club, another old-school track that kept scores in check. Nick Watney won with a 13 under total.
"We used to play on thick rough like this two or years back all the time, and the TOUR's kind of gone away from it a little bit," Pettersson said. "But I think this golf course sets up well for it. It's very challenging off the tee. You have to hit the fairways and it's just an old-style golf course, and I think it suits it with thick rough."
And Thursday morning rain might make it worse. The forecast is good all week, but there's a good chance of light rain early in the first round. It might make the rough even tougher.
"If it rains, the rough will play -- it becomes even more lush and thick and tough to get out of, and the course [plays] longer tee-to-green obviously," Pettersson said. "I would love to see this golf course play firm and fast, but I don't know if that's ever the case here."
On the competition side, Pettersson comes into his title defense 62nd in FedExCup points. Call it a so-so year: He has three top-10s in 19 starts, but nothing has really stood out. He'd also had three top-10s before last year's RBC Canadian Open, which he won by a shot when 54-hole leader Dean Wilson faded to a 72 in the final round.
Pettersson has been working extensively with Florida-based Jeff Leishman, who is credited with turning around the career of 43-year-old Tom Gillis, who had his best year on TOUR in 2010.
"I still haven't played as well as I wanted to this year, but I'm getting back to how I played in 2006, 2007, 2008, when I played pretty solid out here," Pettersson said. "But it's getting there."