Suzann Pettersen makes her season debut this week at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, but don’t expect the World No. 2 to be well-rested. She’s been up the last four nights watching friends compete in the Winter Olympics.
“I know pretty much all the Norwegian athletes competing,” said Pettersen, who can’t wait for her own opportunity in Rio two years from now when golf returns to the Olympic Games.
Pettersen said if she were competing in Sochi, she’d be racing in the Alpine skiing women’s downhill.
“That’s skiing’s Formula One,” she said, revealing her fearlessness.
Norway currently leads the total medal count at the games in Sochi with a dozen. Germany boasts the most gold medals with five.
“If we fail here,” Pettersen said, “it’s national depression for months.”
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SOME THINGS TAKE TIME: Australia’s finest, Karrie Webb, was disqualified last week in Queensland for signing an incorrect scorecard. Webb said she rushed through the scoring area after posting a 1-over 74 in the second round, thinking she had missed the cut.
The silver lining of it all, Webb said, is that she was able to spend more time with family. She also had a chance to practice parts of her game that were “a bit scratchy” the first two days of competition.
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QUOTABLE: “I like being the person with the target on my back. I like kind of setting the bar for people and showing them what it takes.” – Stacy Lewis, currently third in the Rolex Rankings
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SHORT SHOTS: Paula Creamer makes her debut in Australia this week. She caught a bug flying over from Florida, however, and said she was a little bit achy. “A good night’s sleep tonight and I think I’ll be fine,” she said Wednesday. . . . Ariya Jutanugarn is making her first tournament appearance since suffering a shoulder injury at last year’s Wegmans LPGA Championship. . . . Defending champion Jiyai Shin isn’t in Australia this week. In fact, she will spend most of 2014 concentrating on the Japan LPGA. . . . Lydia Ko, fresh off her runner-up finish at the New Zealand Women’s Open, is in Victoria looking to repeat last year’s opening-round blitz. Ko started off her week at Royal Canberra with a 10-under 63. She ended the week in third. . . . World No. 1 Inbee Park will start her year next week in Thailand. Other notables not in Oz: Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis.