The offseason is becoming shorter for LPGA pros, but they’re still managing to pack a lot of life-changing activity into it.
Between the engagements, the weddings and the monumental fundraising, a woman can barely catch her breath this offseason.
Morgan Pressel made a dash up the Florida Turnpike to Orlando early Wednesday morning to appear on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive after her two-day Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer event at St. Andrews Country Club in her Boca Raton hometown, where she helped raise $751,600 in the fight against breast cancer, which took her mother’s life in 2003. The Morgan Pressel Foundation has raised more than $4 million in the eight years since she devoted herself to the cause.
“I’m going home to sleep,” Pressel cracked after leaving the Golf Channel studios for the drive back to Boca Raton.
It’s been an exhilarating six weeks for Pressel and her closest LPGA friends since the last putt dropped at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples. For a special group of players who grew up together, lives are changing in dramatic ways.
Paula Creamer got married three weeks ago. Pressel, by the way, was Creamer’s matron of honor.
Brittany Lincicome announced her engagement just a few days after Creamer’s wedding.
Pressel, 26, got married almost exactly two years ago.
“There must be something in the water,” Pressel told GolfChannel.com. “We’re dropping like flies.”
The trio grew up playing junior golf together. Creamer brought Pressel to tears in her Morning Drive appearance Wednesday with a tweet about their friendship.
“She is one of a kind, and I’m so proud to call her my friend,” Creamer wrote. “What she’s doing for women and their families, with the Morgan Pressel Foundation, makes me so proud. She won’t stop until there is a cure.”
The older that Pressel, Creamer and Lincicome get, the closer they’re becoming.
“I’ve known Paula and Brittany since I was 12 years old,” Pressel told GolfChannel.com. “We’ve been on tour for nine, 10 years now, and we’ve all settled in. It’s the cycle of life. Now the joke is who’s going to have a baby first.”
Pressel’s generation is dealing with the challenge of juggling careers with personal lives that are changing in dramatic ways. Brittany Lang is in that group of friends. So is Amanda Blumenherst. Lang got married a year ago. Blumenherst left the game last year to focus on her husband and starting a family, and she gave birth to her first child six weeks ago.
Natalie Gulbis and Cristie Kerr didn’t grow up playing with Pressel and that generation. They’re older, in their 30s now, but they’re in that circle of friends. Gulbis got married 13 months ago. Kerr has been married for eight years, but she’s adapting to a new life as a mom. Her first child, Mason, turned 1 last month.
For Creamer, there’s already the challenge of balancing a pair of careers. Her new husband, Derek Heath, is an Air Force pilot and was just hired by United Airlines. They aren’t sure how their careers are going to intersect with all the travel.
“This is a new stage of our life, and there is going to be some give and take,” Creamer told Morning Drive. “Obviously, our schedules are going to be incredibly busy. I have my job and what I want to achieve, and he has his goals and what he wants to achieve. We are definitely going to be learning early on. That’s part of life, and we are both so excited about this next chapter, this next step in our lives together.”
For Pressel, there’s satisfaction knowing so many of her friends are there supporting the cause that means so much to her. The Morgan & Friends quest is becoming a life’s work. There’s a reward seeing her friends help her change the lives of families they don’t even know. The Morgan Pressel Foundation makes that happen.
The foundation funded creation of the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. It also funds the Kathy Krickstein Pressel MammoVan, named after Morgan’s mother. It’s a mobile state-of-the-art digital mammography system, which takes the technology into Palm Beach County communities.
Pressel became the youngest winner of a major championship when she won the Kraft Nabisco at 18 in 2007. She’s proud her name’s on that trophy, but she’s even prouder seeing her name on the cancer center in Boca Raton.
“My name is on the center, but it’s not just me,” Pressel said. “There are so many people who make that possible. There should be 500 names on the cancer center. It is special, but the MammoVan is even more special to me because it’s named after my mother. That was my goal starting out, to find a way to honor her and help other women.”
And to save children the pain of losing a mother too soon.
There’s no offseason in Pressel’s work toward that.