NAPLES, Fla. – The longest year of Morgan Pressel’s professional career mercifully comes to a close this week at the CME Group Titleholders.
Pressel, 24, has struggled through a hand injury that has made this the most difficult of her seven LPGA seasons. She has five missed cuts and three withdrawals in her last 10 starts.
“It’s been really hard,” Pressel said Wednesday on the practice putting green at TwinEagles Club. “I wonder if it would have been better just not to have tried to play at all, but I’ve only got four days left and then I can get some rest.”
Pressel hurt her left thumb hitting from the rough at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in June. Three weeks later, she withdrew after one round at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship with the thumb bothering her. She withdrew a week later after one round of the U.S. Women’s Open. She missed five consecutive cuts after that.
A hand specialist diagnosed Pressel's problem as tendinitis. As she tried to play through it this summer, the injury spread to her wrist, then her elbow.
The pain has affected her swing.
“It’s been a year of compensations that have turned into a poor golf swing, without being able to work on it,” Pressel said.
Always one of the straightest drivers on tour, Pressel is 79th in driving accuracy this year. She’s 120th in greens in regulation, 97th in scoring and 45th on the money list. All rank as the lowest finishes in her career.
The brightest moment of Pressel's season actually turned into disappointment. She looked as if she were cruising through the semifinals of the Sybase Match Play Championship when she was penalized for slow play and lost her match to Azahara Munoz. Pressel finished third, her only top-10 finish this season.
“I’m ready for this season to be over and enjoy my offseason,” Pressel said.
Pressel said a saving grace this season has been her upcoming wedding. She will marry Andy Bush in January and has been occupied with wedding plans.
“It’s given me something else to think about,” Pressel said.