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Steady puts Pettersson in weekend picture

It didn't take long Friday for Raleigh's Carl Pettersson to barge his way into contention at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Pettersson birdied the first three holes and - bingo - there he was, moving quickly up the leader board at Quail Hollow Club, ultimately shooting a 4-under 68 for a second consecutive day.

That landed him at 8 under for the tournament, tied for sixth with Vijay Singh and Stewart Cink, four shots behind leader Pat Perez.

"I played flawless on the front" nine, said Pettersson, a former N.C. State golfer who had to wait out about a 90-minute rain delay before he could get his round started early in the afternoon.

"And when you can birdie (holes) one, two and three, that sets the mode for the day. That really gets you into the round the right way and settles you in. It gives you early momentum and that doesn't happen every day."

Pettersson is enjoying his time in Charlotte, which is about 21/2 hours from his Raleigh home. He also is picking up where he left off from last year at Quail Hollow: Although he tied for 51st in 2010, he shot a 68 on Sunday.

So that's three consecutive rounds of 4-under golf for Pettersson at Quail Hollow.

He added three more birdies (on Nos. 7, 10 and 15). He made bogeys on the 11th and 14th.

"Those were a couple of stupid bogeys," said Pettersson. "But that's probably going to happen in a round of golf."

He's played well professionally in North Carolina before, winning the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in 2008, one of his four PGA Tour victories.

"Sometimes you put a bit of extra pressure on yourself to play well at home," said Pettersson, who heard plenty of "Go Wolfpack" cheers during his round. "But it's nice to be playing here in North Carolina. I live here, so it should be enjoyable."

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