Happy, healthy Pressel back in major contention


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Morgan Pressel positioned herself well for a weekend run at winning her second major championship.

With a 2-under-par 70 Friday, Pressel found herself in second place behind Miki Saiki with the afternoon wave still going off at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

“I played pretty well today, didn’t put myself in any trouble,” Pressel said.

Pressel, 25, is radiating with old confidence as her form continues to return after an injury-plagued year led to a slump over half of last season and the start of this season. Pressel injured her left wrist playing out of the rough at the Wegmans LPGA Championship last year. She tried to play through the injury, leading to some bad swing habits and a series of withdrawals and uncharacteristic missed cuts. She was diagnosed with intersection syndrome, a ligament and joint malady caused by repetitive action.

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Struggling to find her form for about a year, Pressel was rejuvenated in her return to the LPGA Championship this year, where she made a Sunday run at winning before tying for third behind Inbee Park. Back when she was 18, Pressel won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, becoming the youngest winner of a major. Her only other LPGA title came at the Kapalua Classic five years ago.

Pressel’s run this week is timely as she seeks to make the U.S. Solheim Cup team. It's the last week of qualifying, and a victory gets her on the team in points. A strong finish likely gets her on the team through the world rankings. And even if Pressel doesn’t wrap up an automatic roster spot, she is a likely captain’s pick.

“I’ve played well for two days, and I’m more focused on this tournament,” Pressel said. “I feel like I’ve given myself the best opportunity to play on the team in the last couple months. We’ll see how it falls at the end of the week, but I feel good about where I am.”