Pressel Owns 4-Up Lead After Morning 18 Of Championship Match

Roswell, Ga. – Morgan Pressel, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla., won the last three holes of the morning 18 on Sunday to take a 4-up lead over Maru Martinez, 21, of Venezuela, midway through the 36-hole championship match of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur being played at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.

Pressel, who shot the equivalent of 4-under-par 68 with the usual concessions, has never trailed in the match. After Martinez holed out a 24-foot chip shot at the par-3 12th hole to square the match, Pressel took the lead for good with a conceded birdie at 13, knocking her approach shot to 5 feet. Martinez missed the green left, pitched 45 feet past the hole and could not convert her par effort.

At 16, Martinez drove in the right rough, topped her second shot and then missed a 15-footer for par while Pressel stuck her approach to 5 feet for another conceded birdie.

Pressel then holed a 28-footer from the front fringe at the par-3 16th for another birdie, while Martinez missed her 12-footer to the left. And at 18, Martinez found the pond with her second shot, then nearly holed out her fourth for a par. Pressel two-putted from 27 feet.

Pressel quickly grabbed a 2-up lead through three holes, winning one with a 7-foot par save after Martinez’s ball plugged in front of the green in the hazard. She still made a 20-footer from the fringe for bogey with a piece of mud still on the ball. Pressel took the third with a 4-foot birdie.

Martinez, who had the equivalent of 74, got the match back to all square by winning the fifth with a par (Pressel lipped out her 8-footer for par) and then holing a 5-footer for birdie at seven. Pressel grabbed the lead at the turn, stuffing her approach to 3 feet.

Pressel hit 13 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens and totaled 25 putts. Martinez, who had a hot putter early in the round, had 27 putts, but hit only 10 of 18 greens and 12 of 14 fairways.

Story written by USGA staff writer David Shefter.



U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

TICKETS – Admission and parking for all seven days of the championship are free of charge.

WHO CAN PLAY? – The U.S. Women’s Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 5.4. Entries closed June 15.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – Jane Park, 18, or Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will defend the title she won in 2004.

THE FIELD – The 2005 field will include seven Georgia players. They are Laura Coble of Augusta, Jackie Beers of Bonaire, Alina Lee of Evans, Kyu Ri Ban of Duluth, Dori Carter of Valdosta, Diana Ramage of Fayetteville and Margaret Shirley of Roswell.

TELEVISION COVERAGE – Match-play rounds will be telecast on The Golf Channel Aug. 3-7 from 4-6 p.m., EDT.

OTHER PROMINENT PAST CHAMPIONS – Patty Berg, 1938; Betty Jameson, 1939, 1940; Babe Didrickson Zaharias, 1946; Louise Suggs, 1947; Beth Daniel, 1975, 1977; Juli Simpson (Inkster), 1980, 1981, 1982; Pat Hurst, 1990; Kelli Kuehne, 1995, 1996; Grace Park, 1998; Dorothy Delasin, 1999.

CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE CONDITIONS – The following mowing heights will be used for the championship: fairways 1/2"; tees 7/16"; collars 1/4". Putting greens will be prepared so that they are firm and fast; to measure approximately 11 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter. Intermediate rough: 1", width approximately 72" along fairways, width approximately 30" wide around putting greens. Primary rough: 2 1/4".

FUTURE WOMEN’S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP SITES – The 2006 U. S. Women’s Amateur will be conducted at Pumpkin Ridge G.C., North Plains, Ore., Aug. 7 – 13.

MEDIA CONTACT – The Media Center for the U.S. Women’s Amateur will be located in the main clubhouse at Ansley Golf Club. Rhonda Glenn and Beth Murrison will be the USGA staff members on site. The Media Center phone numbers are (678)639-7488 and (678)639-7494.


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