Defending champion Pettersen gets off to slow start at Safeway Classic 2012

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Defending champion Pettersen gets off to slow start at Safeway Classic 2012
Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, who is defending her title at the Safeway Classic 2012, posted a 71 in the opening round of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tournament and tied for the 36th spot on the leaderboard.
Pettersen had vowed to repeat her 2011 performance in the current edition of the tournament, but she could not get off to a solid start. The Norwegian star let most of her archrivals surge past her, however, she is still able to bounce back in the next three rounds.
The tournament being played at the Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Course, the United States, is featuring a very competitive field packed with big names on the LPGA Tour.
Some of the key contenders include American Cristie Kerr, current world number one Yani Tseng, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lang, Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis, Katie Futcher, Karrie Webb, Catriona Matthew, Sophie Gustafson, Sun Young Yoo, Mika Miyazato, Inbee Park, Pernilla Lindberg, Jennie Lee, Morgan Pressel and Shanshan Feng of China.
Pettersen’s fans still remember her performance at the 2011 edition of the Safeway Classic. She displayed a flawless performance and outrivaled contenders like South Korean Na Yeon Choi in playoff.
Analysts said that the LPGA titan appears to be in a tight spot at the moment because most of the lesser-known players in the roster posted good scores. They said that Pettersen can rebound in the second round but it is hard to predict how things will unfold in the remaining rounds.
Before the start of Safeway Classic 2012, the Norwegian prodigy said that she was confident about her current form and would try to defend her title no matter how tough the roster might be.
She said that she is more than happy to make a return to the place where she hoisted her eighth LPGA trophy a year back.
“It kind of feels like being back at home. Ever since they moved from Columbia-Edgewater, I've done a little better," Pettersen said. "It's one of those tracks where you can really get it going".
American Sydnee Michaels and Mika Miyazato grabbed the spotlight as they took a first-round lead by carding a 65 each.
Commentators said that the next three rounds will likely be tougher, as players standing outside the top 10 will pick up pace in a bid to boost their positions.



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