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A Chat with Ryan Peterson the 2012 MN State Open Champion

July 10, 2013

An Interview with Ryan Peterson

By his own admission, this has been a year of ups and downs for Ryan Peterson. The 2012 MN State Open Champion started the season playing in Arizona and experienced his share of challenges with

MN State Open Ryan Peterson Wins

Ryan Peterson

just one Top 10 and some missed cuts along the way.  This summer he is playing the Dakotas Tour and in two events has registered a T-23 and T-12, so, as he says, “I feel like the game is getting back on track.” Which is a good thing with the 2013 State Open coming up July 19-21.

Peterson, who grew up playing weekend golf with his family in Burnsville, is now playing out of Cannon Golf Club in Cannon Falls, MN. He will not defend his title on the same course on which he won last year, rather he and the rest of the field will compete at Edinburgh USA, a first time host of the MN State Open. We caught up with Ryan to ask him about his golf past and future and also to get his memories of winning the 2012 State Open with a dramatic birdie on the final hole of the tournament.

Where did you grow up playing golf?

I grew up playing golf every weekend with my family at Birnamwood Golf Course in Burnsville when I was really little. Then from there we went to Southern Hills and then to Cannon Falls where I have been playing the last 10 years now.

Who was the biggest influence on your game?

The biggest influence was my dad when I started out playing. We would sit out in the yard or whatever driving range we were at and he would try and teach me some mechanics. Another big influence was my swing coach John Means, who now coaches at Idaho. I started working with John in my freshman year of high school, to further my understanding of the swing, how to practice in the correct way, course management, and also a lot about life outside of golf. John helped me tremendously and I went on to win two state high school championships, and twice in college at Colorado State, and now twice as a pro.

What did it mean to you, professionally, to win the MN State Open last year?

It meant the world to me. My first big win as a professional. This meant that I could do it, I had what it took to win in the professional ranks. Granted, I still had improving to do to get where I want to be, on the PGA Tour, but you have to start somewhere. It helped my confidence a lot, like I said before, that I had what it took to win.

What were your thoughts coming down 18 last year when you needed to make birdie to win?

I was aware walking to the 18th tee box that I was now even with Cam White, but I thought it was just us two. I then heard Mike Fermoyle say, oh my, we have four tied at 8 under now! To myself I thought, are you kidding me, I don’t want a playoff so I’m going to make a birdie. I pulled out the driver and hit probably the best drive of the day right over the bunker on 9 west and sitting perfect to a front hole location, 87 yards in the fairway. I said ok, now or never, I pulled a lob wedge and when it struck the face, I yelled be good and it went to two feet. My dad yelled, YA, which I have never seen that much emotion from him so that was almost like wow, this is special. When Cam missed his birdie putt I knew I had it won. Dad always told me I would win a state championship, did that. He told me I would win in division one, did that. He told me I would win a big cardboard check one day, did that. Cool to have him on the bag for that.

How is your game as you prepare to defend the title?

2012 MN State Open Champion Ryan Peterson

2012 MN State Open Champion Ryan Peterson

It’s real close, but no doubt in my mind it will be ready come time to tee it up. I’m going there to defend.

What has been the most challenging part of playing the Dakota Tour?

Staying patient and sticking to the process. It’s usually pretty windy every event, and you sometimes just need to make pars and shoot away from pins when you can’t be aggressive. Sticking to the process has helped me be more disciplined And play more strategically.

What are your goals professionally?

Ultimately, someday soon, play on the PGA Tour.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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