Norwegian golfer Suzann Pettersen, nicknamed “Tutta” back home, had been among Norway’s gold medal hopes at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but wound up in 10th place instead. Now she’s setting her sights on starting a family and training for a comeback at the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
“I won’t wait four year to start a family, but I also want to play in the next Olympics,” Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten, after failing to win any medal in Rio over the weekend. “I feel I have too much play left in me to give up now.”
Pettersen, age 35, added that she also feels “so lucky to have a partner and fiancé (Christian Ringvold) who supports me 100 percent.” They plan to marry in January.
Not even Pettersen, who’s been among the stars of the LPGA tour for years, managed to redeem Norway’s hopes for medals in Rio. Norwegian athletes logged their worst Olympics in 52 years, in sharp contrast to their fortunes at the Winter Olympics, where they tend to win so many gold medals that their domination has become a concern.
That was definintely not a problem in Rio, where Norway went home with just four medals, all in bronze. Pettersen had trained in Las Vegas after also logging a downturn at the British Open and was confident upon arrival in Rio. She had made the Olympics a priority this season, and teed off on the offense.
It didn’t take long, though, before another Norwegian golfer making her Olympic debut, Marianne Skarpnord, was outperforming Tutta in Rio. Skarpnord, ranked 179th in the world, suddenly found herself in the medal battle after playing well and surprising everyone with a shared 11th place on the tournament’s second day.
Skarpnord’s good fortune didn’t last, though, and she was six strokes behind for the bronze when the last round began. All hopes disappeared after the first two holes and she ended up in 25th place, well behind Tutta.
She nonetheless viewed the Olympics as a great experience and hopes more fun lies ahead. “I will play in the LPGA qualifying rounds in October,” she told Aftenposten. “Now I have learned a lot and I’ll also get some support from Tutta. The chemistry between us wasn’t the best a few years ago, but now we do well together and I feel like Tutta is keen to help me.”
Neither Tutta nor Skarpnord were sharp enough to match the play of stars like Inbee Park of South Korea, who won the gold with 16 under par, five strokes ahead of top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand. Shanshan Feng of China won bronze.