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COVER STORY


There are so many great places to play. Nationally, some of my favorites are Pebble, Pinehurst, Chicago Country Club, Valhalla, Sawgrass. I’ve played 12 of the top 100 and I’ve got my fingers crossed to play Augusta National this year with (PGA Tour pro) Chris Kirk. That would be incredible.


What are the greatest similarities between golf and football? The one really common thing about the two of them is the break time between the action. In football, you have four to seven seconds before the next play to get your thoughts together and get prepared for the next play. In golf, when you step up to the ball, you take about four to seven seconds before you hit the shot. In football, you walk back to the huddle after the play, and in golf you walk to your ball after the shot. Then you’ve got just a few seconds to get ready for what happens next.


What do you expect from your new charity tournament? I expect it to, hopefully, raise a lot of money for the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success, like a minimum of $500,000, and help a lot of kids with their education in the process. If we raise more, then praise the Lord. I expect it to be a lot of fun with some great golf, some great food and parties, and I expect people to enjoy spending time with my teammates and celebrities who are going to be there.


Why did you make children’s education the focus of your foundation? When I got here, I heard that Arizona ranked among the bottom as far as literacy. I saw it as part of my responsibility to help kids with their future by making sure they had the proper tools to be successful. When I grew up, I saw a lot of kids who didn’t have the proper tools and values. As a kid, I hated reading out loud in the classroom, but my mom did things to make reading fun. Some kids aren’t comfortable with their reading ability or their reading speed, and I want to make sure they don’t feel that way. What my mom did for me was life-changing because she took something I wasn’t comfortable with and made it enjoyable. I hope I can do the same thing for Arizona kids.


22 | AZ GOLF Insider | PREVIEW 2016


Patrick Peterson BY THE NUMBERS Age: 25 Born: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Residence: Scottsdale High school: Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely College: LSU, where he was two-time All-American Nickname: “P2





Cardinals number: 21 Draft status: First round in 2011 by the Arizona Cardinals; fifth overall pick NFL Stats: 246 career tackles; 57 interceptions; 1,459 return yards; five touchdowns through 2015 regular season Honors: Five straight Pro Bowl selections; two-time, first-team All-American Contract: Signed by Cardinals through 2020


Reading and literacy are primary focuses for the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success (above). Of course, a holiday party (right) also is part of Peterson’s big picture.


What was it like playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open pro-am? That experience has been so much fun, especially because it’s in your hometown and there are a lot of Cardinals fans out there cheering for you. It’s a lot like playing football on Sunday because of the big crowds and the party atmosphere. But it’s unbelievable to be able to experience some of the things that tour pros experience every single week. They have to have such a different focus and mindset. I really take my hat off to those guys.


And what was it like playing the crazy 16th hole in front of a lot of fans? First of all, I hit a bad tee shot, but I chipped to about one foot and saved my par, which was a big relief. But leading up to it, that’s the highlight of the round. The atmosphere and energy are unbelievable, with thousands of eyeballs on you hitting that tee shot, the pressure is on you to perform.


It’s the closest thing to a football setting in golf isn’t it? Exactly, and it shows if you have the “it” factor or not. That’s what I want to see, if


www.azgolf.org


COURTESY ARIZONA CARDINALS


GENE LOWER


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