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Pettersson almost had all the glory

7/19/2002

GULLANE, Scotland -- A dropped shot on the last hole cost Carl Pettersson the sole
first-round lead in the British Open, but the Swedish outsider was in no mood to complain.

The 24-year-old with the muscular swing had seemed set for overnight glory after he thumped a
2-iron a massive 275 yards into the 17th green en route to his sixth birdie.

It moved him to 5-under par, a mark nobody else had reached during the previous 13 hours of play
at a sunny Muirfield.

But Pettersson, who turned professional last year and won his maiden European Tour victory at the
Algarve Open in April, sent his tee shot into the rough on the difficult 18th, missing a 25-foot putt to save
par, and had to settle for a 67 and a share of the lead with Americans Duffy Waldorf and David Toms.

"I pulled my tee shot a little bit left and that's going to happen throughout a tournament so I'm not
worried," he said of his errant drive on the last.

"I'm better off than being 5- or 6-over. I only missed two fairways today and had opportunities all
the way round, so I'm extremely happy."

Pettersson, based in Raleigh, N.C., after attending college at North Carolina State,
has enjoyed a consistent second season as a pro, missing the cut only once in 19 events, and looked
relaxed and confident in an impressive first appearance in a major.

He was pushed all the way by playing partner Soren Hansen.

The Dane also birdied the 17th to move to 4-under, but matched Pettersson again on the 18th by
dropping a shot and falling back into a large group at 3-under.