KELLY THESIER: Good evening, everyone. We’d like to welcome Suzann Pettersen into the interview room. Congratulations, a great round of 67 today, now sitting at 9?under par, one shot currently off the lead. Great Back 9. It seems that you really like that stretch of holes at the start of the Back 9. What is it about that stretch of holes that seems to work for you and what was it today that got you going.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I made the turn a bit frustrated that I three?putted nine. I actually got to the green and three?putted, which felt like I was giving away a shot.
But I managed to kind of make a move, and the game responded pretty good. Then I actually thought I could have had a couple more out there. Had a couple of great looks.
So it’s nice to make a charge and kind of be where I’m at right now.
KELLY THESIER: You talked last week when we were discussing at Meijer about how you felt your game has really been coming together ever since the U.S. Women’s Open. What in specific, we were watching, your iron game today looked terrific, but what specifically have you felt like has really been kind of propelling you to some great starts.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Just a little hard work. I mean I can finally put in the hours. I know what I’m trying to achieve. It’s right there. So it’s more a question of just sticking to the game plan, not bailing. I still bailed on a couple of shots out there. I know the fix is quite easy to kind of adjust it while you’re on the golf course. And I know that good is good, so that’s what I’m going for.
KELLY THESIER: I know a lot of players always gear up for majors and as I was looking back at your record, your consistency in the majors has been pretty unbelievable. Made the cut in five of your last seven and all five of those you finished tied for fourth if not better. What is it about majors that bring out the best in your game.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don’t know. I got to the point now where I don’t really try and make such a huge deal out of it. I literally try and week every week, and I know I’m good enough to be in contention to win on any course. So I guess that’s also a confidence kind of booster right there.
It takes the best to win out here, so I think it’s cool to see all the players who’s playing so well right now, and you just want to be a part of that.
KELLY THESIER: Questions for Suzann?
Q. Suzann, you were unable to play the Kraft, the first major of the year. You were right in the thick of it at the British Open. Does that all make you a little more hungry for your next major?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, at Kraft I was flat out on the bed. Wasn’t even ?? golf was so far away from me at the time. Just thinking about putting I felt my back was going to break just thinking about it. So that’s how bad it was.
U.S. Open, I felt like I hadn’t played ?? I got kind of four tournaments in a row there leading up to U.S. Open, and then during my off week prior to, it went out again and I was on the couch for five straight days, questionable if I was going to play. So I teed it up at the U.S. Open, didn’t really feel like I was on top of my game, and definitely not the course where you try to get your game in shape while you play.
So two very disappointing majors kind of slipped out of my hands, one I couldn’t do much about and the second I don’t know if I should have played or not. But ever since the U.S. Open my back and my body has been great.
Arkansas was probably the first tournament back where I felt like that was the real me back in contention, back where my game should be, and ever since it’s been good. It’s been solid.
Q. Suzann, obviously you’ve had some pretty good tournaments in Rochester. You’ve come close, not quite getting over the hump here. Did it take a move from Locust Hill, to get away from that place maybe?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, maybe. I didn’t have my luck with me at Locust Hill. I would love to get a win in Rochester, fantastic golfing venue for us, the LPGA; it’s been a great partner of ladies golf for 38 years.
I’m quite sad we’re not coming back here anytime soon, but hopefully some day in the future we’ll have some new tournaments in this area because it’s fantastic golf courses, great crowd, great support. We really get to see we are part of the local communities. Yeah, it’s great.
Q. With Locust Hill were there times where you felt like you were fighting that golf course?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah. All the time.
Q. I mean you played a lot of good rounds there, but it felt like you were fighting it; right?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, that was a beast. Yeah. That was always a battle. You’re correct. Never felt comfortable, but knew I could kind of tweak it around, and I’m so glad I don’t ever have to hit that tee shot on No. 18 ever again. There were a couple of tee shots you just don’t want to hit around that place.
KELLY THESIER: Suzann, as I look up at the leaderboard you and Inbee right now are tied. The last few weeks it seems like you and Inbee have been right up there at the top of the leaderboard and you’re both kind of fighting for her to get back to that No. 1 spot, for you to get back to that No. 1 spot. What is it about the two of you lately that are putting your games right up there.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don’t know. I mean you see everyone up there is quite long hitters, I would say, and this course definitely favors the bombers. You can afford to be a bit more aggressive, give it some extra speed and still afford to miss the fairway and you still have a shot at the greens. So don’t be surprised to see a low one tomorrow because the par?5s are reachable. I heard the weather is supposed to be nice.
You gotta go out there tomorrow with the intention of go out and win this outright.
Q. What are you trying to accomplish when you drop your left arm away from your body right before you bring it back up to your putting stroke? It looks like you dip your left shoulder down. And is it working, helping out?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I played the CVS this year, CVS Classic Charity with Jonas Blixt. Up until then my putting was so so. Had a couple of great conversations with Jonas himself who’s a great putter. In fact, there was a couple of other guys there. We were standing there talking about it. I was asking questions, trying to find something. We were just fooling around, asking what everyone was working on. And what I found with a lot of the guys their putter is so low to the ground at all times.
And with Jonas, obviously he’s putting left hand low, but his shoulders are so level, and it seems so easy to kind of keep the putter lower to the ground all the way through the stroke.
So for me I kind of adjusted and I felt like the ball came out much better, 10 times better roll and more consistent.
I mean I like to kind of ?? I don’t like to play around, but I like to get advices and kind of support from great players, and I did get that that week. So it was good for something.
Q. Curious what your workout schedule is now, if you’re doing a little bit more, with your back?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No.
Q. Nothing? And yet I think you said you were hitting it further. So can you tell us what you’ve learned then maybe, or what’s different?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Did you not see my quote yesterday? It probably should not be repeated.
KELLY THESIER: We’ll leave that one out of this.
Q. Is that one that wasn’t clean?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No. Well, after coming back from being out with a back, you’re just dying to play golf. So your priority is to play golf, not to risk anything, trying to be sore, do anything stupid in the gym.
I do tons of cardio, and I can still run. It doesn’t bother me. But other than that, trying to live off old work and just see how long that can last me.
Q. So how much longer are you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I am a club longer with my irons, which is a lot. And the driver, a long way. I want to say 20 yards further. I mean I played with Lex ?? no, I played with ?? who did I play with. Jessica Korda. She was like 20 yards behind me, and she’s usually quite long.
Q. Do you miss it, you know, your normal work out?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Being short? Do I miss being short?
Q. No, your normal work out routine and the adrenaline of being in the gym?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: At times I miss it because for me it’s also a place I can burst out all the frustration I have from the golf course. That has almost been one of the toughest things like coming back and trying to play more and not being able to kind of blast the music and just get it all out of the body. Just had to find someone else, or someone else to beat up or like take the load, because you gotta off load it somewhere, and for me it was always the gym. So I found my other places.
KELLY THESIER: Can you share any of those?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No.
KELLY THESIER: Nothing worth sharing.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not to go to the public.
Q. Suzann, how close are you to where your ball striking was and your confidence was when you won Evian?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It’s much better than it was a year ago almost. I’ve been working now pretty solid and consistently of where I’ve tried to get this to be for almost a year and a half now.
Evian was a touch of it. Like a taste of what the good could really be. The good now, I’m never ?? my good now has never been this good, which is fun. So even at the age of 33 I feel like I have a lot in the tank, and that’s nice to know.
KELLY THESIER: Any more questions for Suzann? I’m going to end with one, and it is you won your first major at the LPGA Championship. This is the last year it’s here in Rochester and the last year it holds that same name. What would it mean for you to walk away with that trophy tomorrow.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I will make a huge effort to try and win a golf tournament here in Rochester, and I’ll have a chance tomorrow.
KELLY THESIER: Sounds great. Thank you very much. Wishing you the best of luck.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Thank you.