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Pressel takes positives from near miss

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DALY CITY, Calif. – Morgan Pressel walked away from the Swinging Skirts Classic Sunday frustrated over failing to take advantage of opportunities, but she also left encouraged at what a strong upward turn her game is taking.

After missing a 10-foot birdie chance at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at Lake Merced Golf Club, Pressel watched Lydia Ko beat her, holing a 5-foot birdie.

“I gave myself a chance, and that’s what I came here to do,” Pressel said.

Pressel, 26, is a two-time LPGA winner, but she’s in search of her first victory since the Kapalua Classic in 2008. She won the Kraft Nabisco in 2007, becoming the youngest winner of a major championship at 18.

Pressel’s career took a detour with an injury in 2012. She hurt herself hitting from the deep rough at the Wegmans LPGA Championship that year. She injured her thumb but played through the pain as it radiated into her wrist. She later battled neck pain related to the initial injury. Through it all, her swing changed, causing a slump that lasted nearly a year.

Pressel, 26, has fought her swing off and on ever since.

“My last four tournaments, I definitely feel like there are so many positives,” Pressel said.

Last summer, Pressel left her swing coach, Ron Stockton, to try to figure out her swing on her own. She found herself lost and exasperated in Asia earlier this season, uncertain where to turn, so she reunited with Stockton six weeks ago. They overhauled her takeaway, freeing her up to make better passes at the ball. Since then, she’s finished tied for third at the ANA Inspiration and second this week at the Swinging Skirts Classic.

Pressel leaves San Francisco eager to take her rebuilt game into a summer full of majors with a Solheim Cup to qualify to play.

“This just shows that what I'm doing is working, and I’ve just got to keep plugging along,” Pressel said.