SUZANN PETTERSEN IS IN CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, this week for the $2.5 million Ricoh Women’s British Open, but her heart is in her native Norway where 95 people died in a terror attack by Anders Behring Breivik, who has reportedly confessed to the atrocities.
Pettersen wore a black armband during the third and fourth rounds at last week’s Evian Masters in Paris to show respect for the fallen Norwegians. Everyone would have understood if she had withdrawn from the tournament and flown home to Norway, where all sporting events were canceled through the weekend. Instead, the seven-time LPGA winner chose to keep playing.
“I think everyone at home would feel like you should go out there and play for us,” Pettersen told Golfweek’s Alistair Tait. “You go out there and you fight for your heart and you fight for your friends and fellow Norwegians at home.”
Pettersen has carried the burden of her homeland’s tragedy to Carnoustie, one of the world’s most demanding links courses. The Women’s British Open is an important championship, the season’s final major, but Pettersen has a different perspective on golf at the moment in light of the events back home.
“It’s still heartbreaking …. What’s amazing through all this is how we all stick together. We stay strong together.”
The Women’s British Open field includes 22 of the world’s top 23 golfers, including world No. 1 and defending champion Yani Tseng. Tseng’s 11-under total at Royal Birkdale last year edged Katherine Hull by a stroke.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Photo credit: ktan.kh, Flickr, Creative Commons license)