Suzann Pettersen, Norway

Norwegian professional golfer Suzann Pettersen has established herself as one of the biggest names in the world of ladies golf, racking up multiple wins on both the LET and LPGA Tours as well as claiming two major titles.

Born in Oslo, Norway in April 1981 Pettersen found her love for golf early on. With the encouragement of her family she continued to pursue her passion for the game becoming the five-time Norwegian Amateur Champion as well as winning the British Girls Championship in 1999.

In September 2000 Pettersen turned professional at the age of 19 and began an incredibly successful career first on the Ladies European Tour. Here she won the Open de France Dames in her first season, finished second in the Order of Merit and won the LET Rookie of the Year award.

By 2003 Pettersen qualified to play on the LPGA Tour making 18 of 19 cuts in her first season. The Norwegian continued to shine professionally, racking up more and more wins while becoming known for her fierce competitive nature. Her most notable victory from this period would come in 2007 at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship. Her fantastic form in the event came after a dry spell for the talented player, but spectators would have been forgiven for not noticing - as a near-perfect performance during the final day set her apart from the rest of the field.

During the tournament, the then-26-year-old shot a five-under-par 67 on the Sunday to claim victory from closest rival Karrie Webb. Hitting a birdie on every hole on the back nine at Bulle Rock, Pettersen’s win secured the Nike player her first major title.

In May 2011 Pettersen broke a 20-month victory drought by capturing the Sybase Match Play Championship at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey, where she battled rainy conditions to triumph in all six of her 18-hole matches over four days. Pettersen’s game would continue its winning streak with the golfer securing two more titles in 2011 at the Irish Open (on the LET) and the Safeway Classic in Oregon. With this last win, Pettersen propelled herself to #2 in the World Rankings, her highest-ever position to date.

In 2013 Pettersen won her second major title at the Evian Championship, beating then-amateur Lydia Ko by 2-strokes after severe rains shortened the event to 54 holes.

Pettersen is known for having a fierce competitive streak helping to make her an 8x Solheim Cup European Team member. While the Norwegian has a solid record during this team event, in 2015 her competitive spirit came under fire after an incident with America’s Alison Lee during Sunday’s matches. After Lee left an 18-inch putt on the 17th hole, she believed opponents Charley Hull and Pettersen had conceded, leading Lee to pick up the ball and head to the 18th hole. Pettersen, however maintained the putt was never conceded and began a standoff with officials that ended with the Americans losing the hole and the match.

Initially Pettersen refused to back down leading to astonishment from the Americans and even some of her European teammates regarding the lack of sportsmanship involved. In the end Pettersen realised the severity of the situation, issuing a full apology on social media and even doing a sit-down interview with the Golf Channel to express her regret over the incident.

Career Wins:

2001 – Open de France Dames
2007 – Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill
2007 – McDonald’s LPGA Championship
2007 – SAS Masters
2007 – Longs Drugs Challenge
2007 – Hana Bank – KOLON Championship
2007 – Honda LPGA Thailand
2008 – Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open
2008 – AIB Ladies Irish Open
2009 – CN Canadian Women’s Open
2011 – Sybase Match Play Championship
2011 – Ladies Irish Open
2011 – Safeway Classic
2012 – LPGA KEB – Hana Bank Championship
2012 – Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship
2013 – Mission Hills World Ladies Championship
2013 – LPGA Lotte Championship
2013 – Safeway Classic
2013 – The Evian Championship
2013 – Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship
2015 – Manulife LPGA Classic
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