The Masters Tournament routinely means the unofficial beginning of the golf season for many around the country and the world.
And while the beautiful colors and blooms of Augusta National have many vowing to play their best golf this year, Tiger Woods’ victory hit home with a recently-retired PGA Tour pro and inspired him to give professional golf another shot.
2011 NCAA individual champion John Peterson stepped away from professional golf last year after failing to regain his PGA Tour card citing travel fatigue as well as the fear of missing out on his home life with his wife and young child.
However, after less than a year in the 9-to-5 grind, Peterson has announced his comeback, citing a belief in his abilities and a nudge from Woods.
“I know I’m good enough to compete at the highest level”
Seven months after stepping away from professional golf, John Peterson announces he is making a comeback.
— Matt Moscona (@MattMoscona) April 25, 2019
“Sometimes you just got to take a step back to realize what you had,” Peterson told Matt Moscona, host of ESPN 1045’s “After Further Review” in Baton Rogue, Lousiana on Wednesday. “I was in an office for seven months, dark-to-dark basically. It was fine when I started. Paying the bills and everything was fine. But then the Masters came along and I’m watching this kid Patrick Cantlay, who in 2011 finished second to me in the National Championship when he was at UCLA, and he finished 9th in the Masters, and I beat him, and I beat him a lot. And I’m just like, man, that could be me. And then Tiger wins, and his story was just too inspiring honestly. I quit my job seriously the next day after the Masters.”
Peterson, who has never been one to hold in an opinion, deleted his social media accounts last week anticipating some backlash over his decision. Some of that could come from his inside-the-ropes brethren who Peterson has rubbed the wrong way not too long ago.
Peterson took a jab at PGA Tour pro Chesson Hadley back in October, saying that sometimes the money on the PGA Tour isn’t worth the trade-off of not seeing your family.
Fellow Texan Kelly Kraft called out Peterson for his “out of bounds” comment, saying he would be out on Tour if he could be.
Don’t knock us on the @PGATOUR for living our dream of playing golf at the highest level. Especially when you know damn well you would be too if you didn’t lose your status. We still see our families, You can take as many off weeks as you want if you work hard and are good enough
— Kelly Kraft (@kkraft11) October 23, 2018
The road back to the PGA Tour won’t be an easy one for Peterson. After foregoing any status he previously held, he’ll be trying to qualify anywhere he can.
“I spent two and a half, three years of my PGA Tour career not really giving it everything I had,” Peterson said. “With life and babies and everything that came with that, I wasn’t able to really concentrate 100 percent on golf, and now that we are done with our second kid, if I’m gonna do it, now is the time. So I made the decision about a week ago with my wife to quit my job and get back to pro golf full time. So it’s gonna be a long road back, but I’m ready for it and know I’m good enough to compete at the highest level.
“I’m taking a big risk. I don’t really have any place to play right now 100 percent, so I got to qualify and stuff. But I will get back, I know I will.”