Morgan Pressel hit every fairway but one on her way to the top of the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Evian Masters.
That’s no surprise. She’s always been a straight hitter. The surprise is that she’s popping the ball 13 yards per drive longer than she did two seasons ago.
While Pressel is still among the LPGA's top 10 most accurate drivers, she’s jumped from 154th in driving distance in ’08 to 96th this season.
“I would say 75 percent of it has been technique,” Pressel told the media in France after her round.
That’s a credit to Adam Schriber, her swing coach.
Schriber is also Anthony Kim’s swing coach. Pressel switched to him late in the summer of ’08 as she struggled with a slumping driver.
What technique’s Schriber using to boost her power?
“It’s just about coordinating her arms and body better,” Schriber said by telephone Thursday night.
That’s the simplified version in his quest to change old habits.
There were doubts Pressel could find significantly more power at her size when she made the switch to Schriber, but he's convinced she’s still capable of gaining a lot more distance.
“I would say she’s got 20 more yards in her as she gets more consistent [with the move],” Schriber said. 'As she cleans things up, she creates more speed.'
Pressel says a switch from Callaway's FT-9 driver to the Callaway Diablo Edge and from Callaway's X-Forged irons to the manufacturer's Diablo Edge irons also have helped her.
'From 150 yards, instead of hitting a 6-iron, now I'm hitting between an 8-iron and a 7-iron,' she said.