By anyone but Jordan Spieth’s standards, John Peterson is putting together a successful season in his second full year on the PGA Tour.
That doesn’t mean he’s satisfied.
Once play resumes Saturday morning in the muddied and delayed Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the former LSU All-American will have made the cut in his 14th of 15 starts during the 2014-15 season.
He’s already earned $594,447 so far, good for 83rd on the money list. He ranks 55th in FedEx Cup points. If the season-ending FedEx playoffs began today, Peterson would be on pace to make it through the first three of four stages.
Not bad work for the 2011 NCAA champion.
But Peterson wants more.
He wants to win again.
“I’m past trying to make cuts,” Peterson said. “I tried to do that last year and it doesn’t work. You think about the cut you’re going to miss the cut. You’ve got to think about winning the golf tournament and keeping your foot on the gas pedal.
“I did that (Friday), minus the last two holes.”
Despite the fact that a long and soggy TPC Louisiana course taxes his talents — Peterson ranks 113th on tour in driving distance — he was 5 under par for the round and 7 under for the tournament as he headed to the par-4 eighth hole (his 17th of the day).
Peterson knocked his second shot to six feet from the cup but the birdie putt slid by. On the par-3 ninth, his tee shot started covering the flag but the wind almost blew it into the large lake left of the green, among the reeds and the gators. He chunked his third out to the edge of the green and needed two more to get home with a bogey to reach the Zurich’s halfway point at 6-under.
After he signed for a 68, Peterson was still as steamy as Friday’s weather conditions.
“It was an extremely frustrating last two holes considering how I well I played all day,” he said. “It would have been good to get in at 8-under.”
Eight under would have put Peterson just three strokes off the suspended second round lead shared by Hudson Swafford and Boo Weekley. Six under has Peterson in a tie for 32nd, comfortably in the field for the weekend, poised to cash a nice check. He made only 7 of 25 cuts last season and had to scrap his way back onto the PGA Tour by playing well in the Web.com Tour’s four-event playoff and finishing seventh on its priority list.
But that was last year. Peterson just turned 26 and he’s ready to graduate onto more than just cashing nice checks (he has five top-25 finishes this season but his best is a tie for 11th in the Texas Open). He’s learned his way around the tour — where to stay, where to eat, where not to hit it — and wants to win. His best finish is still his tie for fourth in the 2013 U.S. Open, marked by his memorable hole-in-one at Olympic in San Francisco.
“I’m ready to win a golf tournament,” Peterson said. “I’ve seen all my friends do it and it’s something I need to do.”
Peterson lived in Baton Rouge for a few years after graduating in 2011 but just recently sold his house and moved back home to Fort Worth, Texas.
“But I’ve got (football) season tickets, so eventually I’ll get something” in Baton Rouge, he said.
He knows his next move has to be into the winner’s circle.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.