Pressel riding surge of confidence into ADT

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2008, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' Morgan Pressel has playing privileges at Trump International, meaning she can get on the lavish course whenever she wants.
 
Fortunately, she wont have to call in any favors this week.
 
It was a rocky 2008 for Pressel, who became the youngest major winner last season by claiming the Kraft Nabisco title but never got rolling this year, with her one victory overshadowed by five missed cuts (three consecutively) and not being able to finish better than 25th in 17 of 25 tournaments.
 
Still, she managed to be among 32 qualifiers for the ADT Championship, the season-ending LPGA bash which starts Thursday on one of her home courses, a mere 30-minute ride north from her Boca Raton home.
 
And the cool $1 million winners prize would surely help Pressel forget the headaches that plagued 08.
 
Anytime that you play poorly, its not a confidence builder, said the 20-year-old Pressel, whose win at the Kapalua Classic in October went a long way toward assuring her a spot for the ADT, which chooses its qualifiers through points accrued over each half of the season. It wasnt pretty.
 
Not even close to pretty.
 
Pressels emotions got the best of her more than once, she broke 70 only once in her first 28 rounds this year, and was never really in contention at the Nabisco in her first chance to defend a title.
 
So Pressel ' who freely acknowledges she has very little patience ' didnt wait until the season ended to change things.
 
She hired a new swing coach over the summer, with hopes of generating more clubhead speed and regaining distance she was rapidly losing off the tee. An added commitment to fitness and strength helped there considerably, and Pressel even decided it was time to refine her putting game, too.
 
Pressel skipped the LPGA stop in Mobile, Ala. in early September, so she could get a full month off to work on her game. Before the layoff, her last result was a tie for 60th at the Safeway Classic; three starts after the layoff, she was a winner again at Kapalua ' and enjoyed a surge of confidence that was sorely lacking.
 
Its better to make changes than to continue playing poorly, Pressel said. That was kind of my mind-set. I didnt want to continue playing like that, continue beating myself up over the poor play and it feeds off itself after a while. Its not easy to make a change while youre playing but it was something I set my mind to.
 
The bold move could pay further dividends this week.
 
Pressel is a fan of the unusual ADT format, and just might have the necessary amount of confidence right now to be in that mix for the $1 million prize, which gets displayed, in cash, in a thick plexiglass cube on Sunday.
 
The field gets cut to 16 after Fridays second round and the scorecards are wiped clean, and Saturdays round trims the field to eight finalists, with $100,000 for second place and $20,000 for third.
 
It is a true playoff tournament where you have 32 people, and everybody getting eliminated up until the last day, said Cristie Kerr, a Miami native and member at Trump International. So I think it adds to a lot of drama. You know, having eight people and not knowing whats going to happen.
 
Sundays round starts with everyone tied once again.
 
Its the third year of the $1 million winners prize; Julieta Granada won in 2006, Lorena Ochoa is the defending champion.
 
Annika Sorenstam ' who is making whats billed as her final LPGA Tour appearance this week before stepping away from the game to start a family and pursue business interests ' has won four ADT titles, but each of those came in the conventional, four-round, stroke-play format.
 
I dont know if you ever get used to this format, Pressel said. Its definitely a bit crazy. Thats part of the reason why its like that. Its a story line and it draws attention. It makes it exciting. It definitely makes it exciting come Sunday. Youve just got to play well.
 
It really is that simple.
 
Now, maybe for the first time all season, Pressel believes shes playing well enough to win.
 
Shes got a great will for the game and a feistiness about her, that as long as it takes, nothings going to hold her down, said Kerr, a longtime friend who had Pressel among the bridesmaids in her wedding. Thats just the way she is. She made a change in coach and some changes to her putting and some things, but thats what good players do. If somethings not working, they find a way to make it work.
 

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”