Pressel, Martinez Advance To Final of U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship
Roswell, Ga. – Morgan Pressel, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Maru Martinez, 21, an incoming Auburn senior from Venezuela, advanced to the final of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.
Pressel used four birdies and an eagle to defeat Brazilian-born Angela Park, 16, of Torrance, Calif., 3 and 1, in Saturday’s match-play semifinal. Martinez had four birdies of her own in her 4 and 3 victory over Alison Whitaker, 19, of Australia.
Pressel’s putting continues to astound her opponents. She rolled in birdie putts of 12 feet, 15 feet, five feet and 15 feet in the victory. But it was her eagle on the 554-yard par-5 10th hole, a perfect 92-yard wedge shot that nearly undid Park, whose ball was sitting just two feet from the hole for a potential birdie.
“After that, I thought, ‘I’m going to have to work really hard on this nine,’” said Park.
It was the first time in the match that Pressel took the lead. She birdied the par-5 16th and went 2 up with two holes to play when Park missed a three-foot birdie putt.
“That was big,” said Pressel. “She took a lot of time over that putt. It almost looked like she was doubting herself and I almost had a feeling she might miss it.”
The match ended on the par-3 17th when Pressel holed a 15-foot birdie putt after Park missed from 25 feet.
Martinez was relentless in her match with Whitaker.
“She didn’t make any mistakes,” said Whitaker. “She just kept burning the flag all day and holing a lot of putts. Every time I tried to force the play or make something happen, it turned bad on me.”
Martinez went up in the match for the first time at the sixth hole when she sank a 12-foot birdie putt. A birdie the par-4 ninth hole gave her a 2-up lead. Another birdie at the par-4 13th created a three-hole margin and Martinez closed out the match on the 15th hole with a par to Whitaker’s bogey.
“I’ve been working very hard, especially on my putting,” Martinez said.
While Pressel is the better-known of the two players, Martinez was a semifinalist in the 2002 Women’s Amateur and upset heralded junior player Michelle Wie in the 2004 championship. Pressel was second in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and won the 2004 North & South Women’s Amateur, becoming at 16, the youngest champion of that prestigious competition held annually at the Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort.
Sunday’s 36-hole final will be the first encounter between Pressel and Martinez. Both wear their hearts on their sleeves on the golf course with frequent fist-pumps, exclamations and leaps.
“I’m a very emotive player and I’ve had to learn that balance between being patient and not getting ahead of yourself,” said Martinez, “and being too patient and actually not doing anything about the situation.”
“It would mean a lot (to win) obviously,” Pressel said. “It’s the most prestigious amateur event and I’ve played really well this week. Hopefully I can close the deal tomorrow.”
The Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Rhonda Glenn of the USGA. E-mail her with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roswell, Ga. – Results from the semifinal round of match play in the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.
Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla. (142) def. Angela Park, Torrance, Calif. (144), 3 and 1
Maru Martinez, Venezuela (149) def. Alison Whitaker, Australia (151), 4 and 3
Roswell, Ga. – Pairings and starting times for the 36-hole final of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.
8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla. (142) vs. Maru Martinez, Venezuela (149)
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.