RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Morgan Pressel hears all the buzz over whether Lydia Ko can win the ANA Inspiration this week to become the youngest woman to win a major championship.
It’s a buzz Pressel’s name is drawn into because Pressel is the youngest winner of a major.
Pressel won this event in 2007 at 18 years, 10 months and 9 days old.
With a 5-under-par 67 Thursday, Pressel is threatening to change the question this weekend to whether she can win this event for a second time. Pressel, now 26, leads the first round, one shot ahead of Ai Miyazato and two ahead of Juli Inkster, So Yeon Ryu, Alison Walshe and Gwladys Nocera.
How does Pressel like being recognized as the youngest winner of a major?
“Records are made to be broken, but it is definitely something that comes up quite frequently,” Pressel said. “People say, `Oh, she's the youngest to win a major.’ Of course, I didn't think I was all that young when I did it. But now looking at Lydia, and how young she is, and how much she's won, it's quite unbelievable. I figured at some point she would break my record.”
Pressel has been working hard on her swing. She left her coach, Ron Stockton, last year and worked alone. She missed the cut in the season opener this year and didn’t like what was happening with her game. She reconnected with Stockton three weeks ago.
“I was just kind of lost after Singapore this year,” Pressel said. “I knew where I wanted my swing to get, but I was having trouble getting it there. So I called Ron to have him take a look at it, and it's just been really, really helpful. Very, very thankful that we've had the time to work on it.”
Pressel said Stockton has helped her get her swing back on plane.
“I had gotten it way inside going back, and coming out over the top,” Pressel said. “I was just struggling to get the club in front of me . . . I have a lot less movement on my golf ball, which has been helpful, where I can now aim pretty much right down the center of the fairways ... I really, honestly, I had no idea where the golf ball was going early this year, so it's a big change.”