An Interview With: Carl Pettersson

DOUG MILNE:  All right.  We’ll jump right in.  We’d like to welcome Carl Pettersson, the 2008 Wyndham Championship winner.

Carl, thanks for joining us for a few minutes.  You’re here at Sedgefield coming off a great week last week, T-3 at the PGA Championship, obviously a man with a lot of demands on your time this week for a lot of reasons and obviously this tournament is very near and dear to your heart for lots of reasons.

With that, I’ll turn it over to you for a few opening comments.

CARL PETTERSSON:  It’s always fun coming back here to Greensboro.  I grew up here and went to high school here and close to home.  I live in Raleigh, now.  It’s great to be back and look forward to another great week.

DOUG MILNE:  All right.  With that we’ll open it up and take some questions.

Q.  Aside from you, who do you think is the favorite this week knowing how much different the course is this year compared to years past?

CARL PETTERSSON:  Good question.  I don’t know who the favorite would be.  It’s a new golf course really with the new greens.  The layout is very similar.  They’ve added a few new bunkers.  It certainly plays a lot different.

It’s going to be a harder test and very tricky around the greens.  I don’t know.  I don’t know who the favorite would be.  I think anybody could win.

Q.  Few golfers have compared the conditions out there to being Major-like.  Would you agree with that?

CARL PETTERSSON:  The rough is definitely up.  It’s difficult.  You got to put it in play and it’s tougher around the greens, definitely, but I think if you play well you can still shoot a reasonably low number around here.

Q.  After playing today and seeing those greens and it’s changed a lot, do you still have the same chances you had back when you won? 

What are you looking forward to?

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah.  Obviously you got to play well.  You can’t play as aggressive as you have in years past here because the greens are very soft and they’re obviously a lot firmer.  You got to tone it back a little bit.

It’s important to hit the fairways, very important to hit the fairways.  From there on you can try to attack on some holes.  Some holes you got to play a little bit more defensively.  Overall the golf course is great.

Q.  What’s the difference in the greens?  The ball will not spin back now whereas it would —

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah.  Obviously before it was bent surface, bent grass surface.  Now it’s a bermuda.  It’s a little bit firmer and faster.  Lot of these slopes in the greens with the speed of the greens are a major factor now.  So it’s very difficult to two-putt from long range and little harder to get close on the second shots.

Q.  You’re obviously playing well right now and what do you take away from last week?  You were very consistent on Sunday even with some bad luck.

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah.  It was unfortunate to get a two shot penalty on the first hole.  I didn’t realize I touched that leaf in that hazard.  I played great all day and it was just one of those things that happens and I got to look at positives.  Felt like a great week.  I played good and Rory played spectacular golf.  It would have been tough to catch him.  But certainly would have been nice to finish 2nd.

Q.  You were extremely consistent, too.  That’s got to be your best performance in a Major.  You got to have a lot of confidence going into this week.

CARL PETTERSSON:  Exactly.  I finished tied 6th or 8th in the U.S. Open.  That was my previous best finish.  That was sort of a back door Top-10.

I played great on Sunday playing in the last group and I felt like I handled it well and gave me a lot of confidence.  Hopefully I’ll get a few more chances like that.

Q.  They put the Swedish flag beside your name but you’re a U.S. citizen now.

CARL PETTERSSON:  That’s right.  Dual citizen.

Q.  You’re not eligible to play Ryder Cup on the U.S. side?

CARL PETTERSSON:  No.  You have to be born over here.  I would represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.

Q.  Carl, do you feel like this stretch of golf has been some of your best in your career?

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah.  I played really well in ’08 when I won here, I was very consistent.  Obviously this year has been a little bit better.  I feel like my game overall has improved on every level and it’s been a fun year.  It’s been a great year.  I don’t really want it to end.

We’ve got an important stretch of golf now with The Playoffs and this week is one of my favorite events on Tour and looking forward to this week and The Playoffs coming off.

Q.  Do you pay attention to the FedExCup standings?

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah, yeah, definitely.  I hope I can have a solid week here and play well in The Playoffs and have a shot at the FedEx Cup.

That would be exciting.

Q.  Being back in Greensboro where you went to high school, does it bring back any funny stories from your days as a teen at Grimsley?

CARL PETTERSSON:  I drove around where I lived yesterday.  Seems like a different life.  It was a long time ago.  It’s always nice coming back here, brings back good memories from high school and definitely coming back playing here where I won in ’08 is good.

Q.  What kind of person were you in high school, a prankster, good student?

CARL PETTERSSON:  I wasn’t a good student (laughter).  More of a prankster.

Q.  Are you aware that your golf coach is retiring, Joe Franks?

CARL PETTERSSON:  He was actually never my coach there.  Right after, Chuck Kelnic was the coach there.  I actually saw Chuck today.

Q.  These rules violations are being picked up by people who are watching telecasts at home and tweeting them in. 

How fair do you think it is that people at home are — Joe Smoe, average every day golfer watching the television is tweeting rules violations in so the guys can go back and watch the videotape and checkup on them?

CARL PETTERSSON:  Yeah.  Obviously it’s probably not the same for everybody.  If I was in 30th place nobody would have picked it up.

I did break a rule.  I watched it since.  I didn’t realize it at the time.  It’s a little stupid rule but I did break the rule so just unfortunate thing and maybe they can change some of these rules.  That would be nice (laughter).

DOUG MILNE:  Carl, as always, we appreciate your time and good luck this week.



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