Round 1 Interview With:

John Peterson

Thursday May 3, 2018

SHARON SHIN: I would like to get started. Please help me welcome in John Peterson to the interview room.

John, great round today, 6 under 65, highlighted by a pair of eagles on 7 and 8. Could you walk us through those holes?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah. So 7, 7 I hit it in the fairway. I had a good number for a 3 wood but a 3 wood's not really a go club on that hole. My caddie was trying to get me to lay up and I had made a bogey a couple holes earlier and didn't want to lay up. So I hit it in that green side bunker left and just happened to make the bunker shot. You don't expect them to go in up there like that, but that one went in.

On the next hole I hit a good 4 iron into the fairway. I had 107 yards, landed right behind the hole and spun back in. Pretty uneventful hole outs, but they went in nonetheless.

On 9 I hit a great shot from the left trees and didn't make that seven or eight footer. Yeah, it was a nice fin.

SHARON SHIN: And currently you hold a two shot lead heading into tomorrow. How will you be handling your nerves come tomorrow?

JOHN PETERSON: I don't think I've ever led solo out here. I might have been tied or one back a few times, played a few final groups. I don't think it will be that bad.

I'm kind of freewheeling it at this point. I know a little bit has been said about me retiring if I don't make the necessary money for my medical starts, and all that's true. If I don't make it, I'm not playing golf anymore. So I'm kind of freewheeling it out here. I don't really have a ton to lose, just kind of playing golf. My whole family's here and they came last week and they came the week before that and they're watching me with all the starts I have remaining.

So I probably won't do much different tonight. Probably go to the same restaurant and do the same thing, have a couple Miller Lites and call it a night.

Q. First of all, what restaurant?

JOHN PETERSON: Cowfish.

Q. Have you ever made back to back eagles? And did you think for a moment that the shot on 9, seemed to be tracking, had a chance to go in for a third straight eagle?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, I've never made back to back eagles in a tournament and I don't think I've done it in practice, either. I know I've never done it at home and I can't remember if I've done it in a tournament.

But on 9, yeah, when I hit it and I saw it clear the bunker and it was right in line, there was only like seven or eight people and a golden retriever in the grandstands back there and they were getting loud. So I figured if seven people were getting pretty loud, it had to be pretty close. Yeah, I thought it had a chance, but got there and it was a little longer than I had hoped. But it was still a great finish.

Q. Just take us through, was it a wrist injury?

JOHN PETERSON: Top of my hand.

Q. And just can you expand a little bit on this kind of being your last go? How many more do you have with the exemption, two more?

JOHN PETERSON: I have this one and two more.

Q. You're still young, so what's going into that decision if you don't get to where you've got to be?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, I just don't enjoy the travel out here very much. I don't like it at all, honestly. I don't like being away from Ft. Worth; my roots are there and I've been there my whole life, minus my years at LSU. I just like being at home and I like being around my family and friends more than I like chasing it around here. I've done this 24, 25 years. I mean, I'm only 29 years old, but we've been playing the game, all of us out here, for the most part since we were barely able to walk, so we've done it forever.

Q. Will you be pissed off if you get through?

JOHN PETERSON: No, no, I won't. Either way is fine with me. I've got everything in place for both sides of it, so I'm not going to be bothered if I make it. Obviously I would never be bothered to win a golf tournament out here.

Q. When was your baby born? What's the name again?

JOHN PETERSON: October 13th. His name is Luke, Luke William Peterson.

Q. Is that the main reason why you want to stay home?

JOHN PETERSON: No, no. It's a lot of it. I mean, yeah, I want to be a dad more than I am now. But yeah, we want to have more kids and we want to be around them more and be better parents.

Q. Are you burned out on golf or are you burned out on the PGA TOUR?

JOHN PETERSON: Probably more the golf than the PGA TOUR. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate it out here. They treat you great every week. You have nothing to worry about. I like it a lot out here. I'm just -- you know, I just kind of want to be a dad and like be around my kid and my family more often, even though, yeah, they're here this week, but they can't come every week. 35 weeks on the road a year or so? It's just not for me.

Q. So John, is your plan B to stay at home and be Mr. Dad?

JOHN PETERSON: No.

Q. What's your plan B?

JOHN PETERSON: No. I would work in real estate development in Ft. Worth there with a couple buddies of mine. But no, I wouldn't be at home all day.

JOHN PETERSON:

Q. So your buddies in real estate development, do they think you're crazy --

JOHN PETERSON: Yes.

Q. -- that you want their job?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, they do. I can feel my phone right now and I'm sure they're saying something to that extent, yeah

Q. I'm just curious as to when you made up your mind that if this didn't go the right way for you, that that's the decision you would make?

JOHN PETERSON: It was after my surgery a couple years ago. That would have been January of 2016 I had hand surgery, and it took me seven months to be able to just hit a full shot because it was a bone, it wasn't a ligament. It took forever to get my speed back. I played the last year and a half really at 90 percent speed. I couldn't go at it like I could before I got hurt. I was around 115, 116 with the driver, and the last year and a half I played it right around 110 and 111, which is pretty low.

Q. Did you get it back?

JOHN PETERSON: No, I got a little bit back, but I can't crank it to 115 anymore. I'm probably in the 113 range when I really want to hit it. It's frustrating knowing what you had it and not being able to get there. But I figured out a way to kind of play around it a little bit, but more I'm adjusted to my new yardages better, I guess.

Q. What do you need to do in the next three weeks, what numbers do you need to hit? Do you know, is there something that's tangible there?

JOHN PETERSON: Um hmm, yeah. I have to make $310,000 in three events, including this one for the 125, and I think I need 105 points for the 150.

Q. What technically was wrong with the hand, and was it from wear and tear or something else?

JOHN PETERSON: No, it was just years of hitting balls. It was called a carpal boss was the medical term for it.

Q. On days like this when golf -- when you can make two eagles back to back, does it feel like it's all worth it or do you still -- there aren't enough days like this to make you reconsider?

JOHN PETERSON: There's not enough day,s, to be completely honest with you. I'm telling you about something that I've never done before right now. I've never made two eagles in a row. So no, there's not enough days like this. I'm going to try to win this golf tournament. I'm going to try to win it, I promise you. I'm going to do everything I can to win, but if it doesn't happen, whatever, you know. I've got everything in place. Either way's fine with me.

Q. John, what do you consider to be your career highlight? Did you achieve what you wanted to out here?

JOHN PETERSON: If you would have asked me at 13 years old, you know, if you would have brought me aside and said, hey, John, I know you love golf, you love playing, parents drop you off every day and you're there eight hours, one day you're going to play the PGA TOUR for six or seven years, you're going to have a top 5 in a major, you're going to, you know, be a three time All American at LSU, win a national championship, if you would have told me that at 13, I would have said you're crazy.

So looking back on it, no, no, I'm fully content with how my career's gone so far, even though by a lot of people's standards I've underachieved. If you would have told me at 13, 14 years old that you're going to do all those things, I wouldn't have believed you.

Q. Would you try to get amateur status back?

JOHN PETERSON: Probably, I probably would.

Q. Play in the Mid Am?

JOHN PETERSON: The Mid Am? God, it might take me too long to get it back to qualify for that.

Q. There's no max number.

JOHN PETERSON: There's not? Oh, I definitely would try.

Q. What wedge does one hit from seven yards?

JOHN PETERSON: That was a 56 degree. It was a driving range 56.

Q. Does it seem weird to you, if you do end up going into real estate development, that you might retire before Tiger?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, yeah, I guess it would be a little weird. I don't see him retiring anytime soon. He can obviously still play with everybody out here. He's just a super talent. He loves it still.

Q. When you said a minute ago that you probably haven't lived up to other peoples' standards, why do you think the standards were set so high? Do you think it was just your career at LSU, do you think?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, I think so. I think that's 100 percent why I don't feel like I achieved other people's expectations, which I've never really worried about. Yeah, that's why.

Q. You said at 13 you would have thought it was crazy if someone would have told you what you've already done. What about when you were 21, 22 and someone would have said, this is the arc of your career, how would you have felt?

JOHN PETERSON: At 21?

Q. Or 22.

JOHN PETERSON: Being the best part of my career?

Q. If you had been told at 21, 22 this is what you're going to do, top 5 in a major --

JOHN PETERSON: Oh, before I'm 30, you mean? Oh, yeah, no, I still wouldn't have believed you, uh uh.

Q. So what did you think you would be doing before 30?

JOHN PETERSON: I mean, it didn't really hit me that I could play out here until the U.S. Open in 2012. I still didn't know, because when you're 22, 23 years old coming out of college, you have no idea how good -- these guys are good. They're the best in the world obviously.

You think since you've been playing with your friends from college and high school you've known forever and that's it, that you can only play with them until you prove otherwise. It took me going to that U.S. Open to prove it to myself that I could do it. But yeah, I mean, obviously I shocked everybody there and shocked myself.

Q. There aren't a lot of guys that just walk away from the PGA TOUR. What are some of the other Tour pros saying to you, your friends? Do they believe it?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, they believe it. I mean, I speak my mind. Yeah, they believe me. My family's behind it, everybody, all my friends are behind it. They want to see more of me around Ft. Worth, I want to see more of them. It's a great life out here. It's a great life out here if you like the lifestyle.

SHARON SHIN: I would like to thank John for his time and good luck this week.

JOHN PETERSON: Thank you.