May 4, 2018 / 4:23 AM / 23 days ago

Golf - Rare consecutive eagles boost Peterson to lead in Charlotte

(Reuters) - Self-deprecating Texan John Peterson recorded consecutive eagles for the first time in his career to vault to the first-round lead at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday.

Apr 28, 2018; Avondale, LA, USA; John Peterson watches his drive from the 1st hole during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament at TPC Louisiana. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Pity so few people saw the rare feat.

Few of the thousands who turned up to follow Tiger Woods bothered hanging around afterwards to watch Peterson, who finished in some style playing in peace and quiet in one of the final groups of the day.

He holed a 55-foot bunker shot at the par-five seventh (his 16th hole), and went even better by holing a wedge shot from 107 yards at the par-four eighth.

He was rewarded with a six-under-par 65 at Quail Hollow, and a two-stroke lead.

“Pretty uneventful hole-outs, but they went in nonetheless,” Peterson told reporters.

“I’ve never made back-to-back eagles in a tournament and I don’t think I’ve done it in practice.”

Peterson nearly made it three straight eagles when his approach shot from the rough at the par-four ninth honed in on the pin, but the law of averages caught up with him and the ball did not drop.

“There was only like seven or eight people and a golden retriever in the grandstands back there and they were getting loud,” he said. “So I figured if seven people were getting pretty loud, it had to be pretty close.”

Alas, the ball trickled seven feet beyond the cup and he missed the birdie chance, but it was still a good day in the office, and a timely one too.

Peterson, 29, is playing on what the PGA Tour call a “medical extension” after having hand surgery two years ago.

He has to compile about $300,000 in earnings this week and in his next two starts to regain full exempt status.

If he falls short, however, Peterson says he will be quite happy to quit the nomadic lifestyle and go home to Fort Worth to sell real estate.

“I just don’t enjoy the travel out here very much,” he said.

“I don’t like being away from Fort Worth. I just like being at home and I like being around my family and friends more than I like chasing it around here.

“I’ve got everything in place for both sides of it, so I’m not going to be bothered if I make it (back onto the Tour full-time).

“If I don’t make it, I’m not playing golf anymore.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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