Third-round leader Hanson plans to retire in '16
Sunday, April 8, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Peter Hanson used the first two days of competition at Augusta National to learn how Phil Mickelson dissects the course.
On Sunday, the Swede will have a chance to beat Mickelson at his own game, using a 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead over Lefty and garnering a spot in the final group at the Masters.
2012 Masters: Round 3 at Augusta
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“I was just trying to do the boring stuff: Try to hit every shot and just put it in play off the tee and hit greens and give myself some good chances,” Hanson said of his best round in a major. “It was just one of those rounds that turned into a great round.”
Winning a green jacket would accomplish Hanson's first career goal, with garnering a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil as his second goal.
And then he wants to retire. At the age of 38.
Hanson, who lives in Lake Nona in Orlando, plans to retire to his native Sweden and spend time with friends, as well as go back to his loves of hunting and fishing, leaving the world of professional golf behind.
“I’ve never been good at setting long-term goals, but I'll probably stick to the green jacket for now,” Hanson said when asked about his ultimate goal. “But the Olympics would be a dream to play in for my country, and to play the first golf Olympics would be fantastic.”
Before Hanson gets to his retirement party in 2016, he has some work to do Sunday at Augusta National.
Hanson, 34, is playing in only his second Masters, but each time he has teed it up he has taken note of little nuances that the MacKenzie/Jones layout has to offer. Hanson's education took a massive leap on Friday when he shot a 2-over 74 and watched Mickelson shoot a 68 by missing in the right places.
Hanson made a concerted effort to get into this position about three years ago when he decided to leave Sweden and move to Orlando.
Hanson moved to the U.S. to pursue a career not of just playing golf, but the type of golf that wins major championships and Olympic medals.
“One of the reasons why I have taken another step in my golfing career is a lot of those weeks go into practice now instead of being out in the field and bush,” Hanson said.
And then Hanson found coach Gary Gilchrist, who coached Hanson's close friend Peter Hedblom. Hanson and Gilchrist would run into each other when Gilchrist would teach Yani Tseng, the world's top-ranked female golfer, at Lake Nona.
“I told him when we started, 'I’m 35 years old; we don’t have two years to rebuild a golf swing,' ” Hanson told Golfweek at the Transitions Championship. “I’m pretty happy normally with the way I strike it.”
Gilchrist had Hanson widen his stance so he could load better into his right side. Gilchrist came to Augusta on Tuesday and helped Hanson get less steep on his chipping, especially by moving the ball forward in his stance. This helps hit chip shots that land softer.
"There's only one ingredient any time you play good," Gilchrist said. "It's about more confidence in yourself and in your game."
When Hanson gets nervous, he moves too fast and his transition gets quick. Gilchrist said he'll tell Hanson to trust himself.
"Trust will keep you confident." he said.