Peterson, 30, quit his real estate job the day after watching Tiger Woods win the Masters. 

By Daniel Rapaport
April 25, 2019

Turns out John Peterson couldn't stay away from professional golf for too long. 

The 2011 NCAA individual champion (LSU) explained his initial decision to retire to SI.com last June, saying he wasn't enjoying the rigor of life on the road and wanted to spend more time with his wife and young child.

"I hate it,” Peterson, then 29, said of the travel. “My wife will tell you I'm the most miserable person to be around when we have to go to the airport. I don't want to be gone 35 weeks a year and not see him grow up.”

After failling to secure PGA Tour status for the 2018-19 season, he took a job in commercial real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and vowed to get his amateur status back. 

Nine months later, he found himself watching Tiger Woods win the Masters, itching to compete once again. 

"Sometimes you've got to take a step back to realize what you had," Peterson, now 30, told ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge. "I was in an office for seven months, and it was fine when I started, I was paying the bills. Then the Masters came along and I'm watching this kid Patrick Cantlay, who in 2011 finished second to me in the National Championship when he was at UCLA, and he's finishing ninth in the Masters, it's on TV, and I beat him and I beat him a lot and I'm just like man, that could be me.

"And then Tiger wins, with his story, it was just so inspiring, honestly. And I quit my job, seriously, the next day after the Masters."

Peterson has had some success in major championships himself, finishing T4 at the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. That would turn out to be his best finish to date on the PGA Tour, as he struggled with injuries and vascillated between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tours for the next six seasons. 

"I'm taking a big risk, and I really don't have any place to play right now 100 percent, so I have to qualify and stuff," Peterson told ESPN Radio. "I will get back, I know I will. It's just kind of a regret watching the guys that I played with my whole life finish top 10 in the majors and just knowing I can do it."

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