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Sorenstam: LPGA did right thing on Pressel penalty

Annika Sorenstam
Getty Images

The LPGA did the right thing in applying a slow-play penalty to Morgan Pressel in the semifinal of last week's Sybase Match Play Championship, according to Annika Sorenstam.

'I think slow play is something we all have to address and is something the LPGA takes seriously,' she said Thursday on 'Morning Drive.'

'Morgan Pressel is a friend of mine, and she handled it well, like a professional. But it certainly hurt her, obviously the timing was unfortunate.'

Pressel and opponent Azahara Munoz were placed on the clock by LPGA rules officials on the 12th tee after a pair of warnings for slow play. Pressel exceeded the allotted time on the 12th hole by 29 seconds, leading to a loss-of-hole penalty that altered the dynamic of her match against the Spaniard. She eventually lost, 2 and 1, to Munoz.

Sorenstam stepped away from the professional game at the end of the 2008 season, but recalls the pace of play was a problem then.

'We were taking four-and-a-half to five hours to play, and we're professionals, and we have caddies and we have people looking for our balls if need be,' she said. 

The Swede, however, had a routine that did not waver in its speed.

'I can tell you that when I played, my pre-shot routine took 24 seconds,' she said. 'That was whether it was a Monday, or a Thursday, or a Sunday at the U.S. Open.'

Ultimately, Sorenstam sees the pace set by professionals trickling down to the amateur game.

'I think as professionals we need to show the world that this is how you play, and how you can still play fast and shoot under par,' Sorenstam said. 'We're role models out there, and if they see us taking time, reading the lines (on putts) from everywhere, then they're going to do the same thing.'