A Champion's Interview With Morgan Pressel

RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Morgan Pressel, our 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion, the 105th Amateur Champion we've had. Morgan, how much does it mean to you to be the champion?

MORGAN PRESSEL: It means a lot to me. I came here this week expecting big things of myself, had a lot of expectations from everybody, and you know, just to pull through and to be able to play as well as I did this week, this means a lot. It's definitely encouraging.

RHONDA GLENN: Would you say this is about the best that you've hit the ball and putted in a tournament?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, definitely. I struck the ball very well this week. I had a lot of tight iron shots for birdie and converted many of the putts. So, yeah, it was definitely one of the best weeks.

Q. I think in stroke play, you had 40 under par, basically in eight and a half rounds of golf.

MORGAN PRESSEL: That's a lot.

Q. Can you put that in perspective?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Like I said, I struck the ball extremely well this week. I made a lot of putts and 40 under par is a lot. I don't know, I just played well.

Q. Maru said that at the end of the first round, she detected that she was fatiguing and her body was not responding the way she thought she needed to. Did you sense that in a way; that when you pulled away, it deflated her?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, to lose though three straight holes at the end was probably not a great thing for her, but I could tell that she was not hitting the ball that well.

Yeah, she got the break, which might not have played quite as well into my hands as I could have if we would have just kept going. But it seemed like it did, and she was still a little tired coming out and made a few bad swings. But I kept putting pressure on her and I think that might have frustrated her a little bit.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you make any adjustments in your game in any way, putting, chipping, bunker play, your full swing, before this final match?

MORGAN PRESSEL: No. I mean, I think that there are a couple holes that I hit 3 wood on yesterday, but it was wet so I hit driver today. That was it.

RHONDA GLENN: How much difference did the fact that the course was wet both this morning, and even more so this afternoon, how much difference did that make in club selection?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, of course it made the course play longer. So you're hitting longer shots in to begin with. You're hitting longer irons, but it's going to stop. It didn't bounce very far. It's going to be two, three paces, and I ended up spinning a lot of wedges back. It was soft, so you could fire right at the pins.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you have to make any adjustments? I assume you would for your distance control.

MORGAN PRESSEL: You've just got to play, like my caddie and I like to think about it as you've got to hit it like 145 in the air. So if the pin is 150, if you want to play a 145 shot, it's five paces; but if it hits 145, like today we might say, maybe we'll only play 143.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you hit many long irons today?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I think I hit a couple 5 irons and an 11 wood.

RHONDA GLENN: Just one fairway wood on the par 4.

MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, on the par 4.

Q. It may sound like an odd question, but did you even impress yourself with how well you played this week? There wasn't even five , six hole stretch where you played poorly the entire week.

MORGAN PRESSEL: No, I didn't really well, obviously, you know, I'm proud of myself for how I played and how I handled myself through the week. I mean, I could tell that I've been playing well and maybe just haven't put it all together. But I've just kept waiting and it all came together this week.

I mean, I expect that from myself, and when it doesn't happen, I'm disappointed, but I'm happy that it did happen this week.

RHONDA GLENN: What do you think this title is going to mean to you as you go along?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh, I don't know. Obviously it's the one of the most prestige amateur events in the country, in the world, so it's got to mean something. Ask me in a year or so; I haven't felt the effects yet.

Q. How about just being Women's Open runner up and then the development of your career in the next year?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, it definitely has been a pretty decent year so far in two of three USGA events, so that's promising. You know, it's just going to give me a lot of confidence. I've got a lot going on the next few months or so. We'll see how it all unfolds. I mean, I have to be confident the way that I am swinging the club.

RHONDA GLENN: What is going to be happening in your life the next few months?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I'm going to go to the Q School at end of September and see what happens from there. Hopefully make it through.

RHONDA GLENN: And you've got the North and South coming up?

MORGAN PRESSEL: North and South next week and then a couple LPGA events, the Wendy's and the State Farm, which is bark to back and then the Junior Solheim Cup is right after that. Then I'm going to go to the first stage in California. If I happen to not play well for the four days, then I would come back to Florida and play in the qualifier.

Q. So I guess the next summer you will not be defending your title?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I would love to do that. I just don't know. I mean, if I don't make it, then I would imagine I'd stay an amateur, but I don't know. I don't know if I I would have to turn pro right away or how that would work; I really don't know.

Q. Unless something happens, you're going to be an amateur?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, I really haven't decided that yet but probably.

RHONDA GLENN: So you won't defend here next year?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Probably not.

Q. Did you battle fatigue or nerves at all today at any point?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Not really. I mean, yeah, it's been a really long week, but, I don't know, I've just tried to I won't be, I haven't really felt tired. I've got a headache, so I'm feeling it now, but at least it's now and not on the course.

Q. I know, Morgan, it's two different events; does it make up at all for what happened at the Open this year?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, you know, what happened at the Open was a good experience. And obviously the outcome was a little disappointing. But it just gave me great momentum going into the rest of the summer and just knowing how well I can play. I just came here expecting to play even better than that and I did.

Q. Where would you rank this win? You've had a variety of wins at a variety of levels.

MORGAN PRESSEL: At the top. Why wouldn't it be? Of course, it's my biggest win.

Q. 2005 has been a pretty a amazing year, can you talk about your year, from January on?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, starting in January, I was playing some pretty good golf, winning a couple tournaments, coming close and I was never really out of the running in any event that I competed in. I won a bunch of junior tournaments and that gave me some confidence and then of course to go to the Open and play first really well in the qualifier and play so well there.

It's just been like a snowball effect. I just keep playing better. It's really great because I've worked really hard so it's definitely great to see how my wash work is paying off.

Q. I know it's a different course, different level of competition, did you think you played better here than you played at the Women's Open this year?

MORGAN PRESSEL: All around, yeah, probably. I mean, the Open is a different setup. It's a much tougher golf course, but, I don't know, yeah.

Q. Do you feel like everything was working?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, everything was working pretty well this week.

RHONDA GLENN: Are you going to play high school golf again? You're defending your state championship where you shot 62.

MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't know if I can beat 62. I don't know. I don't know. I have to wait until I go back in the fall.

Q. Are there some people from your high school here today?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh, I live in St. Andrews Country Club which is not affiliated with St. Andrews School, but they are within ten minutes of each other. A couple people came from where I lived, St. Andrews Country Club that were here.

RHONDA GLENN: They came up from Florida?

MORGAN PRESSEL: One of them is in North Carolina and drove a few hours and the other flew down from New York.

Q. Did you put on orange because there were so many Auburn fans?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I actually thought about that as I was putting it on. Look, I'm wearing the deep orange, but it was loud out there. What was like a college football game. They were screaming. (Laughter).

Q. You were signing a lot of autographs, and I've talked to a lot of girls that really look up to you, do you see yourself as a role model and do you have any advice for young girls?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I hope that I can be a role model some day, play well enough to be on top. And knowing that, I know that I always have to act well and behave properly and just know that people, little kids are watching everything that I do. And some of them might try and copy it. But what was the other part of the question?

Q. Advice for girls who see you and want to be like Morgan?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I mean, just keep trying, have fun is the most important part. Obviously and I know everybody says that, but it's not because they are just, oh, have fun. It's true. Everybody should have fun. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it.

RHONDA GLENN: How does this rank as far as top moments in your life?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Probably the top, this and the Open are pretty close. Those are both pretty big moments.

RHONDA GLENN: What defines a big moment for you?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh, I don't know, that's a good question. But it's a big moment. I don't know what defines a big moment, but it just means so much to me to have played this well.

RHONDA GLENN: Can you explore that? When you say it means so much, in what way?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, like I said before, it's the most prestigious event in amateur golf. I plan my schedule around events like this, and I just come here expecting so much from myself. And obviously there's so many great players that have won this championship, so to add my name to that list; it's a good feeling.

Q. Do you think the way you played this week, you could have won any tournament you were in this week?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Possibly. I don't know. But I definitely played well, so we'll see how this game stacks up next year, I guess.

Q. Do you hear from Aaron at all?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I haven't spoken to him yet. I have not. I think he's at Disney world with his little daughter so I haven't talked to him but I'm sure my grandpa has called him.

Q. Did it ever cross your mind as you were pulling away, "I'm not going to be losing on some chip in" or something?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, she chipped in on 12 and I'm like, "Oh, no, here we go again."

No, I didn't. I guess that's a good feeling not to lose to some shot like that. You know it happened and I got over it and I came here to win.

Q. Were you concerned at the weather at any point?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I was concerned when I went into the tent. I heard some thunder, I was like, I want to end before we have to go and sit down again.

RHONDA GLENN: The trophy, where is that going to go?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Probably on our dining room table. Either in my room or displayed somewhere proudly in our house.

RHONDA GLENN: Not at your club?

MORGAN PRESSEL: It's in my house. I'm not letting it go. (Laughing.)

Q. Are trophies getting stacked up?

MORGAN PRESSEL: The house is crowded. Lots of medals.

RHONDA GLENN: Morgan, congratulations, you just played great. I know you're going to be a wonderful representative of this championship.

MORGAN PRESSEL: Thank you so much for everything.

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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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