Just a couple days after donning a black armband in remembrance of all the lives lost during the two terrorist attacks that devastated her hometown of Oslo, Norway, Suzann Pettersen still appears to be carrying a heavy heart. As the 30-year-old sat on stage in the interview room at the RICOH Women’s British Open on Tuesday afternoon, her solemn tone spoke volumes about how the tragic events still are resonating with her.
“It's still heartbreaking,” Pettersen said.
On Monday, the city of Oslo was filled with more than 150,000 people who gathered to mourn the 76 people that were killed during a bombing in Oslo and a shooting at a youth camp on a nearby island. For Pettersen, who has always carried a strong sense of pride for her native country, it was a sign of how Norwegians have banded together following such a senseless act.
“Really what's amazing through all this is how we all stick together,” Pettersen said. “We stay strong together. Obviously no one can do anything about what actually happened, but we can all stay together for the future. It's just so sad, very, very sad.”
Pettersen, who learned of last Friday’s tragedy from her parents after finishing her second round at the Evian Masters, played the final two rounds of the tournament while wearing the black armband, even though her heart was with everyone in Norway. The No. 3 player in the Rolex Rankings will be in the field at the final major of the year this week, when the Women’s British Open is played at the storied Carnoustie Golf Links for the first time. And there is no doubt that Pettersen will have Norway on her mind again as she attempts to win her second career major title.
“It’s kind of our 9/11 because of the size of our country,” Pettersen said of the tragedy.
“Sports means nothing when it comes to situations like this,” she added. “But you go out there and you fight for your heart and you fight for your friends and fellow Norwegians at home.”