Pettersen sets pace in endurance race

CHONBURI, Thailand – It comes as no surprise that someone of Suzann Pettersen’s physique leads the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand. It’s brutally hot on the Old Course, where umbrellas shield both sun and rain. This is an endurance race, and Pettersen, looking as fresh as one could possibly look in an all-pink Nike ensemble, has run circles around the field. 

photo

Suzann Pettersen watches a putt during the third round of the LPGA Thailand.

“This week is all about how you feed yourself and stay hydrated,” said Pettersen, who worked out her first four days in Thailand but has stayed away from the gym since the tournament started – a highly uncharacteristic move for the ultra-fit Norwegian. She’s smart enough to know she needs every ounce of energy for the course, where she consumes nearly one bottle of water per hole.

Pettersen leads by five over Song-Hee Kim heading into the final round. In 2007, she led by seven strokes over Laura Davies after Saturday. Despite all those extra strokes, it wasn’t easy for Pettersen. She had to eagle the 72nd hole to seal the victory. 

This year Pettersen is bogey-free through three rounds and can’t explain why this course suits her game, especially since her game has changed a good deal in the last three years.

“To be honest, I don’t really know because in 2007 I couldn’t really hit a draw with my driver,” said Pettersen, who began working with David Leadbetter in the summer of 2008. “Now I have every shot in the bag. . . . I feel like a much better golfer today than I did back then.” 

Pettersen usually considers herself a slow starter, but after suffering an injury late last season she has been itching to go for weeks now. 

“I just love playing golf at the moment,” she said quite simply. 

66-64-68. Who wouldn’t?

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