Pressel officially announced her decision to turn pro Thursday.
'I feel that Im ready, and I feel that Im ready to compete at the highest level, Pressel told The Golf Channel. Ive played my way through junior golf, played well; played my way through amateur golf, played well there; now I feel its time to try my game on the big stage.
Pressel earlier this year petitioned then tour commissioner Ty Votaw for early membership but was denied, meaning she will have to wait until she turns 18 on May 23, to become a full-fledged tour member.
In the interim, she is allowed to compete in six LPGA events on sponsors exemptions, just as she did this year as an amateur. Pressel played in a total of seven tournaments, including the U.S. Womens Open, which did not count against her six exemptions, and never finished outside the top 25.
Her best performance came in the aforementioned major, where she tied for second place, losing a heart-breaker to Birdie Kim on an improbable bunker hole-out on the final hole.
She rebounded, however, and captured the U.S. Womens Amateur Championship, as well as her final amateur tournament, the Florida high school girls 1A tournament title.
Pressel made national news when she qualified for the 2001 Women's Open at the age of 12. She missed the cut, but made the cut two years later in the same tournament.
Pressel passed on a full scholarship to Duke University. Her decision comes six weeks after 16-year-old Michelle Wie turned professional.