Suzann “Tutta” Pettersen finally gets a break at Farr
Suzann Pettersen spent the last month battling a nasty viral infection. In her first tournament back, Pettersen came to Highland Meadows Golf Club yesterday morning and had what she described as “the worst warm-up ever.”
Finally, Pettersen got a break, in the form of a great golf shot. She made a hole in one on No. 2 in the first round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Pettersen paired the ace with five birdies to card a 65, putting her in a tie for fourth place.
“I would have taken 2-under, from what I felt warming up,” Pettersen said.
Pettersen hadn’t played in a tournament since June 13, when she withdrew from the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in the third round. Doctors put her on antibiotics, and she skipped one of her favorite tournaments, the Wegmans LPGA in Pittsford, N.Y., last week, putting down her clubs for 10 days.
When she finally started feeling better, Pettersen traveled to Saucon Valley outside Allentown, Pa., on Tuesday to sneak in a practice round for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open.
She still felt rusty, though, and at the driving range before her round yesterday Pettersen thought her timing was off. She was nervous about how her body would respond because, “it takes me a couple days to come back.”
“The last couple shots I found something, and that’s what it’s all about,” Petter-sen said. “Every day it’s not going to feel that great, but you have to dig deep, look within yourself and try to find something. I found that right in time.”
It’s the first time Pettersen has played in the Farr Classic since 2005. She entered in 2006, but did not start.
Starting on the back nine yesterday, Pettersen used a 7-iron to make her ace on the par-3, 154-yard 2nd. It was the fourth ace of her career.
“It was probably the best shot I hit all day,” Pettersen said. “It was on line. It landed a bit short and then dribbled in. It was perfect execution, I guess.”
Before her illness, Pettersen was playing as well as anyone on tour. The 28-year-old native of Norway finished in the top 10 in four straight tournaments and placed second at the Corona Championship and the Sybase Classic. She was seventh on the money list with $590,907 in earnings entering the week.
“I’m just happy to be where I’m at,” Pettersen said. “I’m happy I’m back already. I thought this was going to take a lot longer to come back from.”