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.