Meet Paul Peterson

May 19, 2010

Paul Peterson may not have thought he would be at Oregon State when he was in high school, but the senior golfer is glad he is here, and so are the Beavers coaching staff. Born in Arizona, Peterson would eventually find his way to Oregon and Sprague High School in Salem. Peterson has had an outstanding career and his name can be found throughout OSU's record books. His junior year, his scoring average was a 71.85, which currently ranks third all-time on Oregon States individual single season scoring average list.

You guys made a nice come back after a rough start at the U.S. Intercollegiate this season, was there anything that inspired the comeback?
'The weather got a little bit better, and we weren't out in the rain, then back in the clubhouse, then back in the rain and then back in the clubhouse. We were able to finally find a rhythm. When you're able to do that without the air horn blowing and going back in, it's a lot easier to continue your round, and find that rhythm and get things going.'

When do you think is the most critical part of the tournament?
'For me it's the beginning. Getting off to a good start and keeping that focus throughout the round and limiting mistakes. If you get off to a good start it makes everything seem a little bit more relaxed. When you get behind in the beginning it always feels like you are always fighting that uphill battle, but when you get off to a good start it always seems to put you in a relaxed state of mind. We were 20-over par that first day at Stanford, and you can't give the field that many shots. You're not going to win a lot of golf tournaments from way behind.'

Is there any particular memory in your OSU career that sticks out more than any other?
'The Pac-10s last year. I've never felt like that on the golf course. It was really cool, with how deep the Pac-10 is. I mean, it's obviously the strongest conference in the country. There were a lot of good players last year and to finish sixth there was awesome ... and to know that I put my self in a position to where I could have finished in second. It felt really good. The game felt good. It was a really fun moment, for me, in my career.'

Do you have any plans to continue your golf career after OSU?
'Definitely. I have to finish up school, graduate, get my degree, and then Coach (Watts) and I have been talking with potential sponsors and people to get me going in Phoenix. I'm possibly thinking about turning pro at the beginning of next year - 2011. That's my goal.'

How do you think you might use your Speech Communications major?
'It's always good to have good communication skills, whatever you do, which is why I thought that was a good major for me. In any avenue of life you need to know how to communicate with the people around you. That degree has given me that opportunity. If, for some reason, golf doesn't work out, I will definitely look into a job in the communications field.'

Being from Salem, was it import for you to stay close to home?
'Initially I really wanted to go down to University of Arizona, and Coach (Watts) knew that. He said he didn't even consider recruiting me, because he knew my aspirations were to go down there, because I was born there, and my swing coach is down there, and it all made sense. But, when I talked with Coach and I saw the program here, I fell in love with it. My dad and I have an extremely close relationship, and he's up in Salem, so its been really good for me to go home if I want to, and to be close with my dad. I wouldn't change it here for the world.'

Do you have any favorite places to eat in Corvallis?
'Yogurt Extreme is pretty good lately. I know it's a pretty popular spot. We frequent Monroe Street as a team a lot and the different fast food joints.'

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