Monday, April 16

Heavier Approach Suits Carl Pettersson

Carl Pettersson cruised to a five-shot victory. (Allison)
CARL PETTERSSON IS HEAVY AND HAPPY rather than lean and mean. And it works beautifully for him. The native Swede who became a U.S. citizen in January picked up his fifth PGA Tour win on Sunday at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Pettersson fired a closing 69 for a five-shot victory over Zach Johnson.

Pettersson was a consistent top-30 money winner on the PGA Tour until he decided to try to take things up a notch. He looked in the mirror and saw Mr. Pudgy. Maybe getting in better shape would help him improve his game, he reasoned.

“I thought, well, I’ll get fit,” Pettersson said after winning the 2010 RBC Canadian Open. “So I actually lost 30 pounds, and my game completely left me.”

Don’t head off to the fridge just yet. There’s more.

“I guess the timing of the swing and everything was thrown out,” he added, “and I really struggled in ’09.”

That makes sense to me. It has happened to other players. Whether the swing, equipment, putting, mental game, or, in Pettersson’s case, fitness, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for this kooky game. Look for Carl in the buffet line rather than the fitness trailer.

“I’m not your typical Swede, as you know. I don’t have a 28-inch waist, and I don’t eat bananas at the turn, stuff like that.”

The workouts didn’t work out. But that’s OK because his game is just fine, earning him two PGA Tour titles in 21 months.

“You know, I’d love to be fitter,” he said, “but I’m not going to go down that road again.”

1 comment:

Bo said...

Great to see old style guys win tournaments. This just shows that to excel in this game you need to have a pattern that you can repeat under pressure while at the same time producing results.