The World No.2 from Norway opened with a 66 in the ISPS HANDA Women's Australian Open at The Victoria Golf Club and is edging closer to the top-two position she needs to leapfrog World No.1 Inbee Park in the Rolex Rankings this week.
KATHIE SHEARER: Just where we expected you to be actually?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Oh really, that's nice [LAUGHS].
KATHIE SHEARER: You played well out there today.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, the first round of the year always anxious to get started. I had a very good warm up. It took me a little while to get really comfortable, to trust what I've been working on but figuring out that the trust is stronger than the rest, so I had a lot of great shots. I also must say I feel like I left a lot of shots out there. I mean, I three putted a couple of greens, stupid three putts really. But also I felt like I played good and gave myself a lot of good chances, putted, for the most part, well. It was a little bit of a mixture but 66 opening round, I'm very, very happy.
Q. Suzann, you made a couple of nice saves on 12 and 14 out of the bunker as well, sort of maybe kick started your confidence?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Twelve was an easy up and down, 14 was a very poor tee shot, not trusting what I should do at all meant I really was short sided. I hit a great sand save and then decided to hit a driver on 15, almost got to the green. So I really just tried to trust - I got some extra yards in the bag so I'm just really trying to take advantage of those and I guess if you look at the score card, I played all the par 5s pretty good today, even though I wasn't in poll position on some of the holes, I managed to somehow get a birdie.
So, ideal conditions today. I don't think you can ask for any better. So this is the second tournament it's been like this, I don't expect this to stay like this. From great conditions, feeling good with my game, I feel like 66 was a great score today.
Q. Tell us a little bit about the drive on 13? That was probably an absolute bomb you did down there. Do you do stats, do you know how far that went?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Have you not see my guns? That's all I've been doing this off season [LAUGHS].
Q. I think it's about 280, is that about right?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: That's nothing. I hit drives much further than that [LAUGHS].
Q. Suzann, there are a couple of scenarios this week, that if you finish second or better you'll take over No. 1 in the Rolex rankings. I know you just said you don't really care, but is that really true?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, it is really true. I really just want to see how good I can be. I know I'm good. If I play like I did today and trust my swing and trust what I'm working on, I just want to see how far I can get and I don't really measure myself up against other players, they're just my competitors. I measure my game; always have, towards the guys. I think I have the most to learn from them.So it's really trying to take baby steps to get better every day. I ain't going to finish this game before I feel like I've reached my potential.
Q. What do you think is your goal; do you have a goal that you're reaching for?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: We'll see, time will show.
Q. The way that you finished the round, do you feel like you're excited by the way you finished it? Are you kind of eager to get back out there? Do you feel like you were playing your best golf towards the end?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I felt like it took me a couple of holes to kind of get comfortable. One thing is to go out and play in practice rounds and always have a second ball in the pocket to drop down if the first one didn't kind of go where you want it to be, but today it's all in. I've got to play the ball as it lies and it's a little different story when you have to put a score card in.But it was nice to kind of feel a little bit of a pump again, feel the heart and go for shots you want to hit and see how you kind of execute them.
Q. Have you actually really been spending a lot of time in the gym in the off season, was that a big focus for you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well for me being strong, being fit, it's actually complementing my swing. I've always liked to work out and in the winter you have a little more time. At one point I thought I had almost overdone it but I'm feeling good, feeling energised and like I said, it's complementing what I'm trying to achieve with my swing, trying to get more speed, so more explosive.
Q. On Tuesday I think it was, you were on the practice fairway and your caddie I presume it was, had an iPad and you were interacting with your coach.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, I use a lot of different devices, Facetime is a great one, other times we use videos and you send them off as emails. There's just so much different analyse programs and stuff. Sometimes it's just nice to get a little bit of a good eye, looking what you're doing but overall I feel very good. I've done a good job at home so it's small bits and pieces.
Q. Where was your coach at the time when you're doing that interaction with him?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It was actually just a friend; it wasn't actually too much of a coach, no.
Q. You were listening to him a lot.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: He was cracking lots of jokes and that's what we were doing.
Q. He's a funny friend?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Funny friend. I've got a lot of funny friends.
Q. Are there any male golfers that you particularly like the way they play?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well I think overall, I think the guys are more creative with the golf ball, they hit more shots, which I've always - that's kind of how I play. I don't just kind of hit a straight shot, I usually work the ball towards certain pins and I just feel like I learn a lot from watching the best male golfers play, even just watching them on telly, you can see kind of how they're using their different shot making to attack certain pins.You see some girls I think do that, but not as many as on the guys and I've been fortunate enough to play and practice with the best guys in the world and learn a lot.
Q. Because these courses demand different shot making than a lot of the courses you play for the rest of the year, do you carry the same 14 clubs in your bag or do you kind of mix it up a little bit because of the questions that courses like this ask you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, I usually stick with my 14 clubs. Last year I was playing a little bit around with the balance in the wedges because the ground's so firm. Other than that, I'm pretty stuck. I've got a driver 3 wood and a hybrid; then my 4 iron is my first iron. That pretty much suits every course that I play.But definitely it's fun to come out and play a course like this where it really demands certain tee shots and it's just fun to take stuff on and see if you can execute.
Q. Suzann, we hear a lot from the Australian players obviously about the importance of this event, but for someone like you, is this a big tournament on the schedule?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Every tournament that I come to, I'm here to win. It doesn't matter if we're here or in Sweden, Norway, America; I play to win and I love coming here. It's been - I've had some good results here in the past. I think it's a good way to kick start a new season. This will be my first tournament of four in a row so if I can take some good stuff from this week, that's kind of what I'm looking for and going to keep building towards the craft.
Q. Do the courses entice you down here or it just works well for your schedule? Is that a factor for you or not?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well I think if you were to pick, I think this is actually quite a tough course. If I could actually choose, I would like to play this as the third event, not the first. But at the same time, it's a good challenge. You've got to execute, there's no bail outs and that's how you're going to get your game quite sharp, so playing four rounds here is going to really help the game develop.
Q. You mentioned your swing speed and trying to get your swing faster, what is your swing speed and how does it compare to last year?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well I'm actually hitting it further with the driver, which is nice. I have an extra year if I really want to. I think I managed to get the club head speed up to 102 over Winter, which is quite good for me. Ball speed over 150, that's a good one. So I'm just hitting my driver with a lot less spin so it actually flies a long way and it actually runs. The same with the iron pretty much.
But overall, I mean, you just try to do tweaks here and there. I feel like I've had a great driver in the past, it's always been quite easy to find the middle of the fairway but sometimes I feel like I have - I should have another 10 or 15 in the bag, which I now have. So just a little bit of changing shaft and increased loft in the driver, so higher launch, less spin.
Q. Are you saying that that's compared to last year?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, that's to last year or actually to the last driver I've had in the bag. So it's just small changes. The equipment is there to help you, if you can really find the right match for you. So I'm very happy with all my clubs at the moment and just really trying to continue working hard on my putting.
Today the good was good and the bad wasn't so good [LAUGHS] but I guess that's how it is.