Pressel's penalty style: Did she play it cool?


When Morgan Pressel was told that she and playing partner Azahara Munoz were put on the clock in the semifinal match of the Sybase Match Play Championship, she hardly looked hurried as she played the par-3 12th.

So when a rules official told her on the 13th tee that she was being assessed a slow-play penalty that resulted in a loss of hole, Pressel didn’t really have grounds to argue. Nor did she try.

Pressel simply said, “OK” and moved out of the way, giving Munoz honors on the tee.

Pressel certainly gets style points for keeping her cool and simply accepting her penalty, but what she did on the 15th green borders on wearing white after Labor Day – you can only get away with it if you know what you’re doing.

On the 15th green, Pressel accused Munoz of touching the line of her putt while rehearsing her stroke – also a penalty in match play that results in loss of hole. LPGA rules officials reviewed television footage and deemed there to be insufficient evidence to penalize Munoz.

Was the call by Pressel simply an attempt to even the playing field or did her claim have merit?

At first glance, it appears the move was catty but upon further review, Pressel wouldn’t call a bogus penalty on Munoz unless she truly thought it to be. All things considered, it wasn’t the response that appeared the classiest, but it was an appropriate foul cry nonetheless.

So what’s the overall Pressel penalty style assessment?

She remained poised and proper throughout the round, in her post-round interview and in taking the consolation match, 2 and 1, over Vicky Hurst later that afternoon. All in all, Pressel played it cool and her penalty style should be matched by those of us who might ever encounter a similar situation.