Photo by: Stephen Dunn

After a somewhat sluggish start to the season, Tour veteran and five-time winner Carl Pettersson might have found his stride. Very consistent rounds of 67-67-69-69 put Pettersson at 8-under and in a T3 finish at last week’s St. Jude Classic. The strong showing also propelled Pettersson up the FedExCup standings as he jumped from 115th to 80th. Pettersson heads into next week’s Travelers Championship with a refreshed confidence. I caught up with him to talk about putters, practice, friends and goals.

 

With a T3 at the St. Jude, by far your best finish in a few months, have you turned a corner with your game?

CP: I feel like my game has been good for awhile, but I just wasn’t scoring well. The T3 finish at St. Jude definitely has given me some confidence back in my game and I think I will continue to progress from here.

 

After St. Jude, you made a nice jump in the FedEx Cup standings. How much do you pay attention to the standings?

CP: As players, we all pay a lot of attention to the standings. It’s important to place high in the points standings so that you have the best shot at getting into as many playoff events as possible. It’s essentially the difference in keeping your job or potentially having it on the chopping block. We are definitely aware of where we stand all year long.

 

Having transitioned from a long putter, what are your feelings about the ongoing long putter debate?

CP: I personally feel like the debate over the long putter has done nothing to help grow or better the game of golf. I will transition to a more conventional putter and stance by 2016, however, I plan to continue using the putter and stance I’ve used for the last 18 years until then.

 

Talk a little bit about your practice routine.

CP: I, like most pros, practice anywhere from 6-8 hours on average per day. During a tournament week, I usually play a practice round on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by some more drilled in practice on a specific part of my game (chipping, putting, long game or short game). Thursday-Saturday, I will practice after the round, if needed, concentrating on whatever part of my game felt a little off. In weeks off, I usually take Monday and Tuesday off then get back out and start working on Wednesday through the end of the week. I’ll typically work on specific areas of my game during those weeks and try to also play a few rounds to keep fresh.

 

Looking ahead to the Travelers, having missed the cut last year, what are your expectations?

CP: Although last year’s result was not what I was hoping for, I like the TPC River Highlands course and Traveler’s does a great job of putting on an amazing tournament for us. I’m looking forward to this year’s event and hope to better my finish.

 

Your wife DeAnna serves on the board of the PGA Tour Wives Association. Discuss her work and how involved you get with the Association.

CP: I’m very proud of DeAnna and her work with the PTWA. The Association is a great asset to the TOUR and their work to give back really helps to support of lot of deserving charities. I try to help out at events where they need players, even though the ladies do a great job without us. I’ll always support the PTWA. When your wife is happy, everyone is happy.

 

What is something very few people know about you?

CP: I’m a neat freak. I organize my things in the hotel room when I’m out on the road just like my home. And I have no problem donating things or throwing things away. When I come home, it’s usually clean out time. I once threw out a broken cable box my wife was going to return because she left it in the garage. Oops.

 

Who is your favorite golfer of all time?

CP: Severiano Ballesteros. I loved his charisma and passion for the game. Growing up in Europe, it was nice to have a role model who played such an important role in the world stage of golf. He was certainly one of a kind and will be forever missed by the golfing community.

 

Who are some of your closest friends on TOUR?

CP: George McNeil, Tim Herron, Charles Howell III, Jason Bohn, Tom Gillis and Tim Clark. We are all competitors but we are also each other’s biggest fans. Having friends who live the same challenges and victories to support you is really important. We help to encourage each other when the game isn’t great and say an extra congrats when it turns around.

 

What needs to happen for you to consider this a “successful” season?

CP: A win would make this season seem successful for me. I’m always trying to get better and achieve something higher than before. If it doesn’t happen this year, I’ll be trying even harder next year.

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