Confident Pressel Ready for Pros

By Mercer BaggsNovember 17, 2005, 5:00 pm
By sight there is nothing intimidating about her. Shes 54 at best, her build is solid; her hair is long and blonde.
Her eyes are green; her smile is wide. She really has that younger sister kind of look.
Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel played in seven LPGA Tour events in 2005, never finishing outside the top 25.
But this isnt the kind of 17-year-old girl you need to baby or protect. This is the kind of 17-year-old girl that beats you at golf. Badly. After telling you that she was going to do it. And has no remorse over your defeat.
This is Morgan Pressel: newly-turned teenage professional; LPGA Tour hopeful; and future superstar.
Pressel, who officially declared professional status Thursday, is not Michelle Wie. She doesnt have Wies physical characteristics. She doesnt have her money. She doesnt have her fame.
But Wie doesnt have Pressels amateur record. She doesnt have her trophies. And she doesnt have that ber confidence that comes along with all that success.
My goal is to be No. 1. Theres nothing better than to be No. 1, Pressel said.
Pressel has been the No. 1 junior player, the No. 1 amateur player, and now she wants to be the No. 1 player in all of womens golf.
First, she has to make through Q-school.
Pressel will compete in the final stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in two weeks. She will be one of 144 players vying for 24 tour cards for the 2006 season.
But even if she gets through, she wont be an official LPGA Tour member until May 23. Thats when she turns 18. And thats when tour officials have decided to award her full status.
She applied for early membership earlier this year, but was denied by then commissioner Ty Votaw. So now ' assuming that she can get one of those two dozen cards ' she will have to rely on her allotment of six sponsors exemptions in order to compete over the first five months of next year. And while shell be able to pocket her earnings, none of it will be official.
Its still why? Whats the point? Pressel asked incredulously. Why cant I play sponsors exemptions and be a tour member? It doesnt make any sense to me.
Its a good bet that Pressel will graduate from Q-school, but its not a guarantee.
She barely made it out of the first stage, where she was over par and near the cut line after three rounds of the 72-hole qualifier. But she didnt get frustrated or flustered. She got aggressive. And she shot 9-under 63 to bolt into the final stage.
Pressel is aggressive by nature. Her grandfather, Herb Krickstein, says she gets her competitiveness from her mother, Kathy, who died of cancer two years ago.
Morgan still gets teary-eyed when the subject of her mother enters into conversation. She also cries when she wins, and cries when she loses.
Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel wipes away a tear at the U.S. Women's Open.
She nearly won this years U.S. Womens Open, only to be dealt a crushing defeat by a fluke bunker hole-out by Birdie Kim. She cried that day. And then she cried when she failed to win the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur Championship.
She cried even more a month later, when she won the biggest amateur prize of them all, the U.S. Womens Amateur Championship.
Shes quite emotional because she takes everything personally, and expects so much out of herself.
Those expectations are warranted. And they wont diminish simply because her level of competition is about to greatly increase.
The goal is to win. Not just to beat Michelle, not just to beat Paula (Creamer), not just to beat Annika (Sorenstam), but the goal is to win, she said.
Thats Pressels goal for the Q-school finals. She doesnt want to be among the 24 card recipients. She doesnt want to have to worry about needing a closing 63 to graduate.
Im going to go out and try to win, because first place is going to get in for sure, she said.
Winning is always at the forefront of Pressels mind, because winning makes her the best. Its what shes always been at every level of golf, and what she wants to continue to be.
It wont be easy. Sorenstam isnt going to go away anytime soon. Creamer will be a formidable foe for many years to come. The tour has a bevy of talented 20-somethings from around the world. And there are plenty of other accomplished teenagers just waiting to make their mark.
And then theres Wie.
Pressel has been vocal in her criticisms of her 16-year-old rival, the one she defeated 3 and 2 in the 2003 Girls Junior ' about her lack of amateur pedigree, about her exposure, about the merits of her things given.
Because of Wies eschewing of most amateur tournaments and penchant for playing in professional events, the two have rarely gone head-to-head.
But Pressel cant wait for the opportunity to match their skills over the coming years.
Rivalries can be a great thing; they can bring a lot of attention to the tour, she said, and then added with a broad smile of confidence. Im not going to shy away from it.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”