Pressel Petitions for LPGA Membership


Morgan Pressel, who is 17 years old, says she will petition the LPGA Tour for early membership.
Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel came ever-so-close to winning the U.S. Women's Open at the age of 17.
Pressel told the Palm Beach Post that she has informed Duke University officials that if the waiver is granted, she will forego its scholarship offer and enter qualifying school this fall. LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw says he will rule within two weeks. The LPGA has an 18-year-old age restriction, but girls 15 and up may petition for early membership.
Pressel, who won't turn 18 until May 23 and won't graduate from St. Andrew's in Boca Raton, Fla., until shortly after that, will compete on the tour while completing her senior year.
'I'm playing well, my game is improving, and I feel like I can compete on a regular basis,' Pressel told the Post. 'This is what I want to do with my life ... why not get a head start?'
If the waiver is granted, Pressel would be allowed to retain her amateur status while trying the first stage of LPGA qualifying school, which begins in late September. The final stage is at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., in December. If she should finish among the low 30 scores and ties at finals, she could then declare herself a pro and claim fully exempt tour status for next year.
Pressel was impressive while finishing runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open two weeks ago. She actually petitioned for the waiver before the championship, during a meeting with Votaw at LPGA headquarters in the middle of June.
As an amateur, Pressel is allowed to play six LPGA events on sponsor invitations this year. She will continue to play as an amateur through the rest of the season. Pressel has already passed up more than $330,000 in her four LPGA starts this year, which would place her 20th on the tours money list.
Pressel, an honors student at St. Andrew's, already has received advanced college degree credits. She plans to continue to take advanced courses while graduating with her classmates next spring and playing a limited spring tour schedule.