Pro roasts retired Tour player John Peterson: ‘Don’t knock us for living our dream’

October 26, 2018

John Peterson’s on-again, off-again 2018 retirement tour captured the attention of many hardcore golf fans. But the outspoken former Tour player’s Tuesday Twitter missive miffed at least one of his former colleagues, Kelly Kraft. “Don’t knock us for living our dream,” Kraft wrote, later adding that he thought Peterson was “out of bounds.” The comment clearly struck a nerve. Where’d it come from?

The retiree

John Peterson’s retirement tour began in early 2018, when he needed a series of high finishes to help retain his card. He made it clear from the start: retirement or not, everything was good by him. “I just don’t enjoy the travel out here very much,” Peterson said in May. “I just like being at home and I like being around my family and friends more than I like chasing it around here.”

He stayed consistent on that message, at least in interviews. Whether he retained his PGA Tour card for the next season or not didn’t really matter to him, he insisted — until that card loss became a reality. At the Greenbrier, Peterson rallied with a Sunday 66 to finish in an eight-way tie for 13th.

“I thought that I’d done it, no problem, even gave a fist pump,” Peterson told Golf Channel. “And then they get into the tent and said, ‘It’s going to be close.’ They told me what I really needed. It just sucked.” As it turned out, a six-way tie for 13th would have given him conditional status for 2019, but the eight-way tie knocked him out. Brutal.

But that wasn’t the end of it. There was a last-second call to the Barbasol Championship just a week later, where he finished T21. That led him to the Tour Finals, where he missed three of four cuts. That has led to a more convincing long-term retirement. Which led us to Tuesday.

The current player

Chesson Hadley is cognizant of the challenges of life on Tour. The North Carolina resident had a long way to travel to get back from the CJ Cup in South Korea, and Seoul to Raleigh is not a direct flight. On his way back, he lobbed a plea in the direction of United. “Would love to see the kids in the morning,” he wrote.

It wasn’t to be. Hadley updated his status later on to show just how long he’d been traveling — already more than 24 hours. “I am handling it okay, but I’m gonna need to get on a therapist’s couch to yell and scream for a little when I get home,” he wrote.


The jab

John Peterson saw what was happening and must have recognized some of his own internal struggle in the back-and-forth. He chimed in on Twitter.John Peterson

Hadley referenced him to the T2 he had posted in Malaysia two weeks prior, a finish that earned him more than $500k. “I would agree for my last event. T73 wasn’t worth this. But the one before that was,” Hadley wrote.

The objection

Kelly Kraft didn’t take as kindly to Peterson’s contribution, snapping back with message telling the former pro to step off.

“Don’t knock us on the PGA Tour for living our dream of playing golf at the highest level,” Kraft wrote. “Especially when you know damn well you would be too if you didn’t lose your status.” This, too, had deeper roots. Suffice it to say Kraft has been a bit of a skeptic for the duration of Peterson’s retirement. He repeatedly gave Peterson a hard time for his musings on a post-Tour lifestyle.

First there was a jab about Peterson’s early retirement.

Then there was a critique of Peterson’s mindset.


When Peterson mentioned getting his amateur status back, Kraft was ready for that, too.

All that added up to what appeared to be the last straw when Kraft felt slighted by Peterson’s commentary on Hadley’s feed. Still, if you believe Kraft’s followup, there are no hard feelings. The two are longtime friends; we’re inclined to take Kraft at his word.

The resolution

In the aftermath of the exchange, one thing visibly changed: John Peterson changed his Twitter settings to match his new preferred lifestyle: he set his account to “private.”

John Peterson
John Peterson has made his Twitter account private.