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Pettersen wins Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
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Suzann Pettersen at The Solheim Cup

It was a doubly successful weekend for members of the victorious 2013 European Solheim Cup team as Norway´s Suzann Pettersen won the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola in the USA shortly after Scotland´s Catriona Matthew picked up a home win on the LET.

Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
Columbia Edgewater Country Club
Portland, Oregon
Final-Round Notes and Interviews
August 31, 2013

Suzann Pettersen -20, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Stacy Lewis -18, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Not even a double-bogey at the par 3 second hole could slow down Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen as she fired a final-round 5-under 67 to take home her second Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola title. Pettersen pulled away from a star-studded leaderboard on Sunday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and finished at 20-under par to clinch her 12th LPGA Tour career victory and her 18th career title. She finished two shots ahead of American and No. 2 ranked Stacy Lewis who shot a 4-under 65 and didn’t record a bogey through all 72 holes this week.

Pettersen’s start did not look promising after she and playing partner and third-round leader Yani Tseng both double bogeyed the par 3 second hole. But Pettersen said her goal this week was to keep her emotions in check and did just that by carding five birdies in the next six holes after the double.

“I decided before I went out just not have too many reactions, good or bad,” said Pettersen. “I knew there were birdies out there if you really get it going.  I just tried to put it behind me.  It was a disaster of a hole, 150 yards.”

The Norwegian picked up three more birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 13 to reach 21-under and extended her lead to three shots. She said she didn’t have any idea where she stood on the leaderboard with just three holes to play.

“Very glad to pull this one off,” said Pettersen. “I didn't know where I was standing playing 13, 14, 15, 16.  Having hit my approach shot on 18, I asked Brian ‘where do we stand and he said you are comfortable.”

Pettersen chunked her tee shot on the par 3 16th hole leaving her a tough up-and-down and salvaged bogey to cut her lead to two shots with two holes to play.

“You know what, it was just a pretty bad swing, even worse chip,” said Pettersen. “It was a good four, put it that way.”

After two conventional pars on the 17th and 18th holes, Pettersen hoisted the giant Safeway Classic for the second time in her 11-year career.

“It feels great,” said Pettersen. “I felt like it was a good bounce back from last week where I kind of screwed it up on the last day. I was just looking at it happy to have a chance this week to play.  It held in.  I wasn't feeling too comfortable coming down the stretch, but I was putting really good.”

The 32-year old was greeted on the 18th green by European Solheim Cup teammate Sophie Gustafson who announced her LPGA retirement earlier this week.

“We have a history together and to see her on the 18th was a little bit special,” said Pettersen. “I never thought she would kind of stick around.  When she says she is done, she's done.  She is usually out of there. One thing is to get to know each other on the golf course, but she has become a good friend of mine and that's what you do for friends, I guess.”


Off to be the host: Suzann Pettersen will be able to celebrate her victory with a group of fellow Tour pros in her hometown of Oslo, Norway when she hosts the second-annual Suzann Pro Challenge. The two-day event will benefit Right to Play, an organization whose mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.

“I kicked it off last year and was lucky to have Lorena, Annika and Yani play with me last year which was a fantastic kickoff.  I felt that was going to be hard to top.”

Pettersen, who is an ambassador for the charity, created a ‘continental competition’ format with eight players on four teams of two representing regions of the world. Pettersen and Marita Engzelius will represent Team Norway, Sandra Gal and Beatriz Recari will represent Team Europe, Yani Tseng and Ai Miyazato will represent Team Asia, and Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda will represent Team USA.

“It's benefitting Right to Play, where I'm the ambassador which gives kids around the world a right to play and gives education,” said Pettersen. “I had a fantastic trip down after last year's event.  Having seen the projects in person and spending time with the kids, it makes you just want to do even more.  It felt like the most meaningful thing that I have done in my life at the time, and it probably still is.”

“So for me to able to bring competitors and friends to Norway, show them Norway, give the crowd back home a sense of kind of who I'm dealing with week in and week out is like a great combination and it's for a good cause.”

Pettersen said she’s more than pleased to have a short break as well before the Tour’s next major, The Evian Championship in France which will play the following week from September 12-15. The Tour’s fifth and final major of the year will be hosted at the Evian Masters Golf Club which had a redesign to the course this year.

“I'm glad there is another major this year,” said Pettersen. “I felt like I had a bit of unfinished business to do after last week.  I feel like I have been in contention for the most part in most majors except for the U.S. Open.

“A little bit unusual to have a major in September, which kind of keeps the momentum and the high a bit longer throughout the season, which I kind of like,” said Pettersen. “It gives the fall a bit more of a peak. I'm real excited to see what the course looks like, get to know the greens, get to know the course, and obviously Evian is my favorite place in Europe.”


Eyeing France… Stacy Lewis will be riding momentum gained after a bogey-free Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. While Lewis admitted several missed putts left her feeling a bit frustrated, she can cross another item off the to-do list with her first bogey-free tournament of her career.

“It was a little frustrating,” said Lewis. “I played really good, though, so I can't be too upset. A lot of those putts I hit exactly where I wanted to and they just didn't go in.  A bogey-free tournament I've never done before, so my coach and I keep checking things off of his list.”

Lewis has three wins under her belt this season including the Ricoh Women’s British Open and despite the flawless tournament, the Texan couldn’t get the job done as Suzann Pettersen prevailed with a 2-stroke victory.

“You would think if you went bogey-free you would win the golf tournament,” said Lewis. “It's just you're making so many birdies out here and everybody is scoring so low, unfortunately that's kind of the way it is.”

With a week break before across the pond to The Evian Championship, Lewis plans on spending the majority of her time on the practice putting green before heading to France. Despite the course changes to Evian Masters Golf Club, Lewis has good history at The Evian Championship as she finished tied for second in 2012 and runner-up in 2011.

“I'm real excited,” said Lewis. “I've played well there the last few years. I mean, coming off of this where my game is right where it needs to be, I'm excited.  I just need to see a few more putts go in, so that's probably all I'll do this off week.”

In the hunt to return to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, Lewis is always striving to end-up in the winner’s circle no matter the tournament but a little extra significance will be placed on this year’s The Evian Championship. The tournament has been in existence since 2000 but this year marks the first-time in its history that it will be a major championship.

“There's always a little motivation there, I think, no matter what tournament it is,” said Lewis. “That tournament has always felt like a major anyway. I mean, purse-wise you've always wanted to win it.  And now it's a major and you just want to win it more.”

Golden Ticket Winners: Sandra Gal, Sandra Changkija and Dewi Claire Schreefel punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 21-24, 2012 in Naples, Fla. The third-annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

Quote of the Day: “Maturity?  I have my good days and my bad days.  I guess maturity kind of -- I don't know if that's too consistent. You know, in golf, for me, I mean, it's probably my head.  For me to bounce back with a birdie on the next one, 3, leave that behind me, knowing that it's enough holes to get the job done definitely helped.” Suzann Pettersen on whether her maturity helped her recover from her double bogey on the 2nd hole of the final round on Sunday

 

SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3

Greenside Quotes
Q.  So win No. 12. How does it feel?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  It feels great.  I felt like it was a good bounce back from last week where I kind of screwed it up on the last day.
I was just looking at it happy to have a chance this week to play.  It held in.  I wasn't feeling too comfortable coming down the stretch, but I was putting really good.

Q.  Coming off the double bogey.  You turned it around and it all kind of went from there?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I decided before I went out just not have too many reactions, good or bad.  I knew there was birdies out there if you really get it going.  I just tried to put it behind me.  It was a disaster of a hole, 150 yards.

Q.  Going into Evian two weeks, you have a week off, you have your event, where does this set you up for the rest of the season?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  It's been pretty good.  I'm very happy.  It feels like I have been knocking on the door for the last three events weeks or three we've had.
This is a good one and I love Portland.

Press Conference
THE MODERATOR:  Well, it is my pleasure to welcome in the 2013 Safeway Classic champion, Suzann Pettersen.  Congratulations, win number 12 on the LPGA Tour.  How are you feeling?  How happy are you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  It was just seems like Portland is a good stop for me.  I always seem to play well here.  I have won here in the past.  I have been close to winning and this was just a good finish to a solid three-week stretch for me.
I mean, at the start of the three-week stretch of the Solheim is usually not the best way to go with your energy.  I have been trying to stay on top of things and I'm glad I don't have to tee it up any time soon tomorrow.

Q.  Let's talk about the start today.  Nice little double on 2.  Talk about the turn around.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yani and myself had the record high score on Tuesday.  (Inaudible) just hitting an 8, it was disaster hole.
But I tried to go out there today and give myself chances.  Don't really have any reactions, good or bad.
I wasn't feeling awfully, awfully good with my long game, but I felt good with my putter.  Once I kind of got going and felt like I could hit fairways and greens and gave myself a look, I felt like I made a lot of clutch putts.
And I guess that was what made me win today.  The putter was definitely a good friend of mine.  It has been all week.
The course has been in great conditions.  I think the greens and the course kind of firmed up the last few days.  The speed of the greens changed a little bit.  They were less receptive than they were the first couple of days.
Very glad to pull this one off.  I didn't know where I was standing playing 13, 14, 15, 16.  Having hit my approach shot on 18, I asked Brian where do we stand and he said you are comfortable.

Q.  You said it out there and we looked it up that you were only the second player to win on two different courses at this event.  You said you weren't too well just because you played so well at Pumpkin Ridge in the past and then coming here tearing it up.  Talk about the course and how impressed you are with yourself coming in here on a new course and winning as well?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I think the way I look at it, coming back to this course that I never really played that well on when we were back here in '07, I feel like I matured a lot as golfer.  I feel like I have a lot more shots to get around this place.  A lot of the par-3s, I remember was -- never felt comfortable.
And I feel like I have every shot in the bag to kind of get around this place now, and really just tried to play to my strengths.  And I had a great two first rounds with Anna and Recari and then just really tried to finish it off.

Q.  I saw Sophie out there on the green.  She stayed around to congratulate you.  What does that mean to have her there?  I know you commented on her retiring, but you guys go a long ways back.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Yeah, have a history together and to see her on the 18th was a little bit special.  I never thought she would kind of stick around.  When she says she is done, she's done.  She is usually out of there.
One thing is to get to know each other on the golf course, but she has become a good friend of mine and that's what you do for friends, I guess.

Q.  You've had top 7 finishes in six of the last seven weeks.  Have you ever had a streak like that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Yeah, I felt like I played pretty good in that March, April section when I won Hawaii.  Then I loved to play at Kingsmill.  I hit it pretty solid.
I played really good last week.  Made a mess out of the last round, which was very disappointing.  There I felt like -- I was actually feeling a little better than here today on that Sunday.  So that was very disappointing.  Felt like I flipped that around pretty quickly.
I was just kind of happy to have another week to play because I felt like I had some unfinished business to do.  It's really nice when you can kind of come back and win after such a disappointment on Sunday, last Sunday.

Q.  What exactly happened on 2?  You said you were trying to stay at even keel.  Kind of hard to be on even keel after that.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I felt like an amateur, to be honest.  I made a mess of it.  I don't know if Yani making par made me feel any better, but it was obviously a huge mess.  I mean, it was just an 8-iron.  But like I said, I didn't feel too comfortable.  It almost took me a couple of holes to kind of get into trying playing what I had, trying not to kind of be overly fancy with my shot-making.  And just really glad that I could kind of cruise in with a two-shot win this year.

Q.  When you said you were going to come in and not have any reactions, do you think that is a sign of maturity, how do you take that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Maturity?  I have my good days and my bad days.  I guess maturity kind of -- I don't know if that's too consistent.
You know, in golf, for me, I mean, it's probably my head.  For me to bounce back with a birdie on the next one, 3, leave that behind me, knowing that it's enough holes to get the job done definitely helped.
If I had double bogeyed like 16 and kind of given away the lead, it would have been different.  There was still too many good birdie holes coming after that.
I mean, I just seemed like I played so well over the last couple of weeks.  It was almost hard to stay patient enough.  You feel like you just want to fire at every pin.  Disappointed when you don't make a birdie because it feels like you should.  I felt like I was mature enough today to get it done.

Q.  Moving forward, you have your event coming up this week.  I'll sure it be all sweeter coming off a win.  For the guys that don't know, talk about your event, what it benefits and other background on that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  This is the second year for my Suzann Pro Challenge, which is a charity event.  I kicked it off last year and was lucky to have Lorena, Annika and Yani play with me last year which was a fantastic kickoff.  I felt that was going to be hard to top.
I changed the format this year, so I invited seven players, eight with me included.  So I created like a continental cup, which is going to be Asia, Europe, America and Norway playing.
It's benefitting Right to Play, where I'm the ambassador which gives kids around the world a right to play and gives education.  I had a fantastic trip down after last year's event.  Having seen the projects in person and spending time with the kids, it makes you just want to do even more.  It felt like the most meaningful thing that I have done in my life at the time, and it probably still is.
So for me to able to bring competitors and friends to Norway, show them Norway, give the crowd back home a sense of kind of who I'm dealing with week in and week out is like a great combination and it's for a good cause.

Q.  And then Evian following, the fifth major.  You have to be pretty pleased with how you are playing, your form.  Talk about going into that, giving you guys another chance at a major championship.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I'm glad there is another major this year.  I felt like I had a bit of unfinished business to do after last week.  I feel like I have been in contention for the most part in most majors except for the U.S. Open.
A little bit unusual to have a major in September, which kind of keeps the momentum and the high a bit longer throughout the season, which I kind of like.  It gives the fall a bit more of a peak.
I'm real excited to see what the course looks like, get to know the greens, get to know the course, and obviously Evian is my favorite place in Europe.

Q.  On 16, did you know I had a three-shot lead going into that hole?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  No.

Q.  Talk about 16.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Well, I just -- you know what, it was just a pretty bad swing, even worse chip.  It was a good four, put it that way.

Q.  What’s it called again?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  It's the Suzann Pro Challenge.  Yani is coming, Sandra Gal, Beatriz Recari, Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda.

Q.  And Marita?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  And Marita is from Norway, yeah.

Q.  Yani --
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Yani will play for Team Asia, yeah.

 

STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q.  Well, how did you think it went today?
STACY LEWIS:  It was a little frustrating.  I played really good, though, so I can't be too upset.
A lot of those putts I hit exactly where I wanted to and they just didn't go in.  A bogey-free tournament I've never done before, so my coach and I keep checking things off of his list.

Q.  Were you aware of what was going on on the leaderboard?
STACY LEWIS:  A little bit.  I didn't realize Suzann had gotten out to 21.  I think I was on 13 when I saw that.  I expected her to be maybe 19 or 20, but I didn't expect her to be that fair.  She obviously played some really good golf.
I had chances there at the end, but I wouldn't go back and hit any of those putts or those shots any different.

Q.  How many putts do you feel like you maybe left out there?
STACY LEWIS:  Off the top of my head, I can think of three or four that were right there on the edge, a couple of lip-outs, couple that just broke right in front of the hole like the one on 18.
But at the same time, I hit them where I wanted to, I hit them on good speed.  So I can't be that upset.

Q.  Would you say most weeks if you go bogey-free, you would win?
STACY LEWIS:  You would think if you went bogey-free you would win the golf tournament.  It's just you're making so many birdies out here and everybody is scoring so low, unfortunately that's kind of the way it is.

Q.  Evian coming up, how excited are you to go back to France?
STACY LEWIS:  I'm real excited.  I've played well there the last few years.
I mean, coming off of this where my game is right where it needs to be, I'm excited.  I just need to see a few more putts go in, so that's probably all I'll do this off week.

Q.  It's a major this year; does that give you any added motivation to play well?
STACY LEWIS:  There's always a little motivation there, I think, no matter what tournament it is.  That tournament has always felt like a major anyway.
I mean, purse-wise you've always wanted to win it.  And now it's a major and you just want to win it more.

 

 

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