• Wyndham Championship, Round One

Pettersson back on form after US PGA anguish

ESPN staff
August 16, 2012
Carl Pettersson and Webb Simpson walk and talk © PA Photos


After suffering disappointment at last week's US PGA Championship, Carl Pettersson immediately bounced back to lead the Wyndham Championship after the first round.

While Pettersson was never likely to beat Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island in the final major of the year, any slim hopes he did have were effectively extinguished after he received a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a hazard at the opening hole.

However, the Swedish-born golfer did not let that experience affect him on Thursday, as he fired an eight-under par round of 62 to hold an early one-shot advantage over American David Mathis and South Africa's Tim Clark.

Pettersson, who lived in the Greensboro area as a youngster, knows Sedgefield Country Club extremely well - and was happy to use that course knowledge to his advantage as he continues his current hot streak of play.

"Sometimes after a great week you start a little flat but I felt good," Pettersson said. "I think this game is very streaky. We get on a good run you got to keep going. It seems like when you're playing well you never think you're going to play bad, and when you're playing bad you never think you're going to play well.

"Once you get on a streak you got to take advantage of it and, you know, put the pedal down and go for it."

While Mathis is nearest to Pettersson on the leaderboard, he will also have to watch out for playing partner Webb Simpson. The US Open champion has not played either that often or that well recently, but signalled that he might just be regaining his form with a four-under par start to the tournament he won last year.

"It was just good to get back into competition again after missing the cut last week," Simpson said. "I kind of wanted to stay patient and the birdies came and O just played good, solid golf tee to green and felt well."

Bud Cauley and Gary Woodland were among a number of other players to finish four-under, with Nicolas Colsaerts and Davis Love III a shot further back.

England's Gary Christian was another to end the day three-under, alongside Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel, with Paul Casey sitting at two-under. It was an unhappy day for Ricky Barnes, though, as he a struggled his way to four-over.

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