HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - APRIL 15: Carl Pettersson of Sweden holds the championship trophy after winning the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 15, 2012 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
You can keep the abs; just give Heritage Classic winner Carl Pettersson a six pack.
You know how Tiger Woods revolutionized fitness for golfers, and Rory McIlroy showed up on the PGA Tour this season all buff and six-packy? Well, as far as self-described “fat guy” and 2012 Heritage Classic winner Carl Petterrson is concerned, the heck with the abs; bring on the six pack.
“You drink, you know, 10 beers and tub of ice cream before you go to bed,” Pettersson, laughingly, told reporters Sunday about how he regained the 30 pounds he lost a few years ago. “That puts it on quickly.”
Five-time tour winner Pettersson, who ran away with the Heritage Classic victory by five shots over Zach Johnson and Colt Knost, said he lost weight quickly in 2008 after winning the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., and “trying to figure out what I was going to do to get to the next level and fitness.” A workout regimen and healthier eating shrunk his waistline, but it wreaked havoc on his ball-striking ability.
“That was during the off season, and it really threw my golf game,” he said of a “terrible” 2009 season in which he finished 154th on the FedEx Cup points list. “Threw my timing off.”
It was only within the past six months that a somewhat larger Pettersson said he was comfortable in his own skin again.
“I felt like this year my game was starting to come back to where it was in '08, '07, '06 and '05,” he said. “I played really solid. It's fun to play again, and I kept the weight on.”
Fitness, schmitness, suggested the native Swede who this year became a dual U.S.-Swedish citizen. Monday may be the 115th running of a certain 26.2-mile race in Boston, but that does not mean the 195-pounder, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., has to train for such an event.
“Ultimately, [golf is] a hand-eye coordination sport,” Pettersson said. “Just because you don't look like an athlete doesn't mean you're not an athlete. We're not running marathons here, we're just walking 18 holes.
“Maybe some of these guys are overdoing it,” he added, breaking up the press corps. “It's great to be fit and everything, but I feel like I'm fit enough to get around 18 holes.”
As for the hideous red plaid jacket that has become the Heritage’s answer to Augusta Green (our Adam Fonseca did a bit of digging and can tell you everything you need to know about the Carolina Tartan but were too polite to ask), Pettersson said he had a similarly patterned vest to match. There was just one hitch -- he was not sure it would still fit.
A tub of Häagen-Dazs and a couple six packs of Pripps Blå, anyone?