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Golf Australia Express : Issue 32
or 110kg mark. Big deal. Pettersson can play golf. In fact he now has five wins on the PGA Tour, equal highest for a Swede alongside Jesper Parnevik and into the elite company of taut-and- tight specimens Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald and Hunter Mahan. The quest to convince the world that golfers are athletes is not a new one. Gary Player in the 60s and Greg Norman through the 80s and 90s were trailblazers for the fitness freak fraternity. But no other did more for modern golfers being regarded as elite sportsmen and women than Tiger Woods. (Although we found out he had different cardiovascular routines to others.) But, as Pettersson said on Sunday, “maybe some of these guys are overdoing it”. MOST OF PETTERSSON’S wins came when he couldn’t tell what shoes he was wearing at the time—and with good reason. Following a successful 2008 season in which he won the Wyndham Championship and earned more than $2.5 million, the portly Pettersson decided to take his fitness seriously in the hope of further improving his game. In the off-season heading into 2009 he shed a whopping 30 pounds— nearly 14kg—in an effort to get in shape with those around him. But the dramatic weight loss came at an unsuspected price. Not only did he lose substantial excess fat, he lost his swing, too, missing 12 cuts in 29 starts. On one hand his health was improving, the other his earning potential was plummeting. "It really threw my golf game—'09, I played terrible, I finished 150-something on the money list, FedExCup list,” Pettersson says. Guess that’s what they mean by no guts, no glory. In a game where rhythm and timing mean everything, a rapid change in weight can have a catastrophic effect on a swing that’s taken decades to fine- tune. Pettersson acted quickly to get back to his “natural” weight. How’d he do it? “Well, you drink, you know, 10 beers and [a] " You drink 10 beers andatubofice cream before you go to bed. That puts it on quickly." PLAYER THE