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Pettersen heeds Whitworth advice, co-leads at Kraft Nabisco

By John Strege

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- There is no substitute for wisdom, and that once imparted by Kathy Whitworth struck a chord with Suzann Pettersen, an emotional player who has finished second in the Kraft Nabisco Championship three times.

Suzann Pettersen.jpg

"I just go out there and literally try to enjoy it, which is probably the hardest thing for me," Pettersen said. "I'll never forget when Kathy Whitworth came up to me. She shook my hand and said don't ever let the passion get in my way. It's really spot on. I just need to get up there and hit the shots that I'm seeing."

Pettersen, a 31-year-old Norwegian, had to have enjoyed the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, carding a bogey-free 68 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club. Her playing partner, Na Yeon Choi, also shot a bogey-free 68 and each was tied for the early lead.

"We weren't really close to making one [a bogey]," Pettersen said. "It was a nice pace of play. It's really nice to get around in just over four hours. It really helps in two-ball. It keeps the flow going. The course is perfect. The greens are rolling pure. It's very playable and I'm very happy."

Pettersen has won 10 LPGA events, including the LPGA Championship. But the Kraft Nabisco has eluded her, piquing her passion. More of what she produced on Thursday would erase that as an issue. "You ask me on Sunday if I can go four bogey-free rounds I'll be very happy," she said.


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