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suzann pettersen

Suzann Pettersen: Why I’m not taking Tiger Woods’ joke personally

The Solheim Cup captain has explained her reaction to the tampon prank that marred the Genesis Invitational

 

European Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen doesn’t believe Tiger Woods meant to offend with his gag involving a tampon with Justin Thomas at the 2023 Genesis Invitational.

After being named as the 2024 Solheim Cup captain, staying in her role which she also holds in 2023, Pettersen revealed she knows the 15-time major champion well and hasn’t taken the controversial issue personally.

Many golf fans on social media criticised Woods and were disappointed in his prank on Thomas after he outdrove him on one hole during last week’s action at Riviera, which saw Jon Rahm overcome Max Homa in a tense battle.

Woods apologised for his actions after the round and described it as an example of the jokes that he and the two-time PGA champion play on one another.

“I know Tiger quite well,” Pettersen said. “I don’t know Justin Thomas as well, but I know Tiger’s humor, and that’s a very probably boyish joke between the two of them, and I don’t really take it too personally.

“I think that was supposed to be a gag between the two of them, and unfortunately, some cameras caught the gag in the heat of the moment.

“I don’t know, I don’t think he meant to be offensive in any way.

“I’m pretty easy on stuff like that. I’m sure it was meant as a joke, not as harassment to women in general.”

Suzann Pettersen

Pettersen has a fresh responsibility on her shoulders as she will lead Team Europe into battle in not one but two consecutive Solheim Cups.

The matches roll around in September at Finca Cortesin in Spain before returning to America at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia 12 months later, a golf course that has hosted four Presidents Cups.

As a two-time major champion, 15-time LPGA Tour winner and a nine-time Solheim Cup participant herself, Pettersen is certainly well-equipped to take on both roles, as is her Team USA counterpart Stacy Lewis who is performing the same service for her country.

The 41-year-old holed the winning putt for the blue and white side in 2019 at Gleneagles. The Norwegian’s name is already etched into Solheim Cup folklore, but she has the opportunity to elevate her reputation in the event even further in the next 18 months.

While Europe could face an uphill battle to win the Ryder Cup trophy back, the continent is on the verge of winning three Solheim Cups in a row for the first time since the event’s inception in 1990.

“I’ve looked into the crystal ball for many months already, and the crystal ball only gets stronger and stronger in my opinion,” Pettersen added. “I love the progression that a lot of the European players have had and are having these days.

“A lot of our players have won over the last year. That’s very important because winning brings confidence, and confidence brings belief again.

“I want players to kind of believe in themselves that we can manage to bring it home once again at home soil.

“I really love how the team is shaping, and most importantly how all the players are feeling with their game and kind of the progress they have in whatever they’re working on. It’s really paying off.

“It’s nice to have more than just one or two players who are winning. We’ve had several ones, and it’s also fun to see the rookies who are kind of desperate to make the team.”

Will Europe win the Solheim Cup in 2023 AND 2024? Tweet me and let me know!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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