Pettersson puts pedal down

2012-08-17 07:12

North Carolina - Carl Pettersson, coming off his best finish in a major, fired an eight-under 62 on Thursday to seize a one-shot lead after the first round of the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship.

Pettersson, a Swede who became an American citizen in the offseason, tied for third at the 94th PGA Championship on Sunday and did not skip a beat in his opening round at the Sedgefield Country Club.

"I started off the round well with two birdies in the first three holes and it got me kind of straight back into the score mode from last week," said Pettersson.

"Sometimes after a great week, you feel a little bit flat the next week, but I think it helped getting off to such a good start."

Pettersson played in a group with US Open winner and defending champ Webb Simpson, who shot a four-under 66.

"Great start today. You know, only one bogey on my second hole. Other than that I played really solid, and it was fun to watch somebody shoot 62," Simpson said.

Pettersson has a win and two runner-up finishes this season. He has finished in the top five at this event three times in the last five years, including a victory four years ago.

South Africa's Tim Clark, who is rounding back into form after having surgery on his wrist, and David Mathis were one stroke off the lead at minus-seven.

Tom Gillis, Troy Matteson and Scott Stallings were tied for fourth at six-under 64. Matt Every had sole possession of seventh at five-under 65.

"I think this game is very streaky," Pettersson said. "We get on a good run, you got to keep going and it seems like when you're playing well you never think you're going to play bad.

"When you're playing bad, you never think you're going to play well. (...) Once you get on a streak, you've got to take advantage of it and, you know, put the pedal down and go for it."

Simpson heads a group of a dozen tied for eighth at four-under 66.

Simpson started his round with a bogey on the 11th. He went on to card three birdies on his opening nine to make the turn at minus-two.

On the front nine, Simpson posted two more birdies before finishing the day on the ninth green.

The big battle this week is to get inside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup playoff points list.

First round scores on Thursday at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship at the Sedgefield Country Club course (USA unless stated; par-70):

62 - Carl Pettersson (SWE)

63 - Tim Clark (RSA), David Mathis

64 - Tom Gillis, Troy Matteson, Scott Stallings

65 - Matt Every

66 - Arjun Atwal (IND), Bud Cauley, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Chris Kirk, Jason Kokrak, Richard H. Lee, John Merrick, Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker, Nick Watney, Gary Woodland