My 2015 moment: Honoring Pressel's charity work

By Randall MellDecember 27, 2015, 4:30 pm

Morgan Pressel didn’t win this year, but she got herself in the hunt again. She nicely put her game back together with a lot of hard work, and she was a large factor in the American victory at the Solheim Cup in September.

Watching Morgan play, I’m regularly curious how she’s stacking up. What’s her scoring average? How many birdies is she making? How many greens is she hitting and how are her putting stats?

I wondered something else watching her step on stage to receive a special award during Masters week back in April.

I wondered ... how many lives is she saving?

As the golf writer at the Sun Sentinel in South Florida before joining Golf Channel, I covered Morgan’s emergence in Boca Raton closely. I was practically her biographer, detailing her rise as a phenom who played in the U.S. Women’s Open as a 13-year-old. At the time, nobody younger had ever qualified for the championship.

Because of that connection, I was honored as a Golf Writers Association of America member to get to present Morgan as the winner of our Charlie Bartlett Award during the annual GWAA awards dinner at Augusta, Ga. The award honors contributions to the betterment of society through charitable giving. She was just 26. The GWAA has been giving out the award for five decades and nobody younger has ever won it.

Having dinner that night with Morgan and her husband, Andy Bush, ranked as my favorite personal moment of this year on so many levels.

Eight years earlier, I sat in the crowd watching LPGA Hall of Famer Judy Rankin receive the GWAA’s Ben Hogan Award for perseverance through handicap or illness. Rankin overcame breast cancer to continue her career as a TV golf analyst. She spoke eloquently that night about the insidious nature of breast cancer and how early detection really does save lives. It saved hers. At the end of her speech, she told women at the dinner to make sure to get their mammograms. And then she told the men there to make sure the women they love get mammograms.

When I got home, I told my wife, Nicki, about Rankin’s speech and asked her when she had her last mammogram. She sheepishly told me she hadn’t had one for about five years. I know there’s some emerging discussion over mammography, but I know this: My wife got a mammogram after I passed along Rankin’s story, and then she got the bad news that ended up saving her life. The mammogram revealed something amiss, and a follow-up biopsy revealed invasive ductal carcinoma. Nicki’s doctors told her that even though there had been some lengthy time between mammograms, her cancer was caught early and the outlook was encouraging. Nicki’s surgery was traumatic, and her life was turned upside down, but today she’s healthy and thriving.

I’ve thanked Judy for what her speech meant to our family, and I’m wondering how many families will be thanking Morgan for what her work means to them. Morgan was honored by the GWAA for her work fighting breast cancer. Morgan’s mother, Kathy Krickstei Pressel, was diagnosed with breast cancer when Morgan was 11 and died when Morgan was 15. It has motivated Morgan in special ways.

The Morgan Pressel Foundation has raised more than $4 million in the fight against breast cancer, much of it in her annual Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer Golf Tournament. She raised $750,000 in this year’s event at St. Andrews Golf Club in Boca Raton. Her work has led to the creation of the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics at the Lynn Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Center at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and has also funded the Kathy Krickstein Pressel MammoVan, which makes state-of-the-art digital mammography mobile, taking the technology into communities for residents of Palm Beach County, where Pressel lives.

Cristie Kerr, Val Skinner and Rankin are among women in golf out front in the cause, and I can’t help looking at them and wondering how many lives they’ve saved. When you’ve been touched by breast cancer, you look at these women knowing they’re scoring in ways that go beyond golf.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.