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January 5, 2006

Carl Pettersson


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Carl Pettersson, thanks for joining us. Good round, 2-under on probably a tough day with the wind and the conditions. Maybe some opening comments about your day.

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah, you know, I didn't know what to expect first day. I played pretty good. I still hit some bad shots. Managed to hit more good ones than bad ones.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You finished the season off really strong last year, winning the Chrysler Championship, then almost winning again the next week at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. How nice is it to start again the season so well?

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah, it's nice to get off to a good start. It's always a good confidence-builder. Obviously, three rounds left in this tournament. But, you know, it's nice not to be able to go out and shoot 6-over or 7-over today and have a good round.


Q. Did you play at all in the off-season?

CARL PETTERSSON: I played quite a bit. I took about three weeks off. I enjoy playing, so I played quite a bit when I was home, yeah.

Q. Do you feel different out there as a player now that you've won? Do you feel something tangible out there?

CARL PETTERSSON: A little bit, you know. Feel like you belong a little bit more. This is now my fourth year out here. Just feel comfortable. I know that, you know, if I play well, I can compete.

Yeah, you just feel more relaxed probably.

Q. Impressions of the course, particularly in the wind today.

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah, it's a good course. I think it needs the wind, the right wind, which we had today, where 17, 18 plays downwind, the short holes play into the wind. It's definitely tricky. The greens are fast. Especially when you get the wind, it's tough to putt. The scenery is not too bad either.

Q. When you say it needs it, toughen it up?

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah. I think if there were no wind, it would be fairly easy just because, you know, it's so wide open.

Q. Shot selection much of a problem today in the wind?

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah, it's tricky because you're not quite sure a hundred percent if you've got the right club, you got to hit it lower or higher. It's tricky.

Q. Any particular holes which really were formidable in that regard?

CARL PETTERSSON: I thought 10 was difficult. Short hole, but you're going into it with a wedge, but the green slopes right to left, the wind is howling right to left. If you come up short, it's a false front on that hole. Tricky hole.

Q. What did you do?

CARL PETTERSSON: I hit -- I made par on it. I actually hit a good shot in there about 12 feet, missed the putt.

Q. After the way you finished last year, did you come in to today expecting to carry that on or were you a little surprised yourself?

CARL PETTERSSON: Obviously, you know, I always expect to do well. I always think -- not being cocky, but I always try to do my best. But you never know. First week of the year, you're going to kind of go with the punches.

It was kind of nice to know -- nice feelings, I hit a few good shots, yeah.

Q. What really kicked in for you I guess starting in Boston? Your game just took off.

CARL PETTERSSON: Yeah, I started so bad last year, I lost all confidence. I think it was actually in Denver I had a decent finish. I finished 15th or something. That kind of kick-started me. I think the last round of Boston was a good confidence-builder. I didn't play great, but I didn't play bad.

You know, just getting out of my own way really. Always trying too hard before. There's a fine line there. You almost have to play care-free golf. You still got to apply yourself, but almost try less. It's a weird situation. You have to make the brain think that you don't care, but you still got to try.

Q. When did you change drivers?

CARL PETTERSSON: I changed to the Nike SasQuatch in I think Denver was the first week I used it. It's been the key. I just hit more fairways. I'd never driven it this good. I'm just driving it more accurate.

Q. Pretty hard to miss a fairway out here?

CARL PETTERSSON: Well, yeah, you can still do it. I missed 18 the other day in practice (laughter). You know, with the wind up, you can miss a few. You also got to watch it. It's so wide open, it's easy to get careless and not pick out a spot in the middle of the fairway.

Q. What did you enjoy most about coming over here?

CARL PETTERSSON: You know, I've watched this tournament on TV, knowing that if you win, you end up being here. Just a beautiful place to be.

Q. Did it mean anything to be the first guy of the 2006 season?

CARL PETTERSSON: Not really. I thought it was pretty cool teeing off first. I didn't hit a great shot, but it went down the middle (smiling).

Q. 3-wood?

CARL PETTERSSON: 3-wood, yeah.

Q. 3-wood shot today with the wind?


Q. Could you make the argument that this tournament might be the easiest one to win on TOUR all year?

CARL PETTERSSON: I don't really know what to say to that. Obviously you got a greater chance because there's less guys. There's only 28 guys here.

Q. Guys are rusty?

CARL PETTERSSON: I would say it's probably easier to win. It's got all the good players, but probably a little easier, yeah. In the regular event, you got 156 guys playing. You've only got to beat 28, 27 guys here.

Q. Any highlights in your round birdie-wise?

CARL PETTERSSON: Not really. It was a pretty boring round really. I had a 2-putt birdie on the Front 9 on No. 5. Made about a 6-footer on 9 for birdie. Made a nice putt on is it 15, the par 5?


CARL PETTERSSON: I birdied 17. It was a tough hole.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What did you hit in there?

CARL PETTERSSON: I hit driver, 9-iron. Made a nice putt, probably about a 30-footer.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: How long was that playing today?

CARL PETTERSSON: 17, it was playing pretty short. Hit a good driver and 9-iron. Practice with 4-iron.

Q. Television do this place justice?

CARL PETTERSSON: No. It's beautiful. I mean, every hole you get up, unbelievable views. You don't realize how hilly the course is. I'm just glad I made it around.

Q. When did you get in?

CARL PETTERSSON: I got in on the 30th.

Q. What have you done all week?

CARL PETTERSSON: Well, let's see here. Nothing much. Just practiced a little bit. Just practiced in the morning, took it easy in the afternoon.

Q. No sight-seeing?

CARL PETTERSSON: Not really, no. Not much for that, no. Hang out at the pool with my wife and kid. Took my little daughter swimming. Just hanging out.

Q. Have you made the trip over to Augusta yet to take a look?

CARL PETTERSSON: No, I haven't. I'm probably going to go after the PLAYERS, the Monday after the PLAYERS and play it. I'm looking forward to that.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Carl, thanks.


End of FastScripts.

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