‘It’s just not for me’: Why the first-round leader at Quail Hollow could retire after this season

May 4, 2018

John Peterson is an unlikely leader after Round 1 at the Wells Fargo Championship. And you might want to take note of his name on a leaderboard — it’s possible that he’ll soon move on to life after golf.

Peterson shot a six-under 65 Thursday, fueled by back-to-back eagles on the par-5 7th and par-4 8th, but despite the hot start, he revealed to Golf Channel that he’s considering retirement if he’s unable to maintain his Tour card through his medical exemption. The 29-year-old is a new father, and completely content to hang it up and spend more time with his growing family.

“I just don’t enjoy the travel out here very much,” he told Golf Channel. “I don’t like it at all, honestly. … Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it out here. They treat you great every week. You have nothing to worry about. I like it a lot out here. I just kind of want to be a dad and like be around my kid and my family more often, even though, yeah, they’re here this week, but they can’t come every week. Thirty-five weeks on the road a year or so? It’s just not for me. …

“They want to see more of me around Fort Worth, I want to see more of them. It’s a great life out here. It’s a great life out here, if you like the lifestyle.”

Peterson has struggled with hand injury and he’ll need 237 FedEx points or $318,096 in his next three events, including Quail Hollow, to keep his card. He’s a former All-American at LSU and won the NCAA individual championship in 2011, but things haven’t clicked at the pro level. He’s never won a Tour event, and his best finish at a major is a T4 at the 2012 U.S. Open.

But through 18 holes at Quail Hollow he’s ahead of some of the biggest names in the sport: Woods, McIlroy, Mickelson. He’ll give it his best shot this week and let the chips fall.