Morgan Pressel Wins 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

Roswell, Ga. – Morgan Pressel, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla., won the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship with a 9-and-8 victory over Maru Martinez, 21, of Venezuela in the scheduled 36-hole final at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.

“It’s my biggest win,” said Pressel. “I’m proud of myself for how I played and how I handled myself through the week. …I just kept waiting and it all came together this week…It just means so much to me to have played this well.”

Pressel took an immediate lead when Martinez had tree trouble on the first hole, bogeyed and lost the hole. A birdie at the third gave Pressel a 2-up lead. Martinez rallied with a winning par on the short fifth and won the seventh with a birdie to square the match.

The players were closely matched with Pressel making the turn at three under par and Martinez at two under par, with normal match-play concessions.

But Pressel’s relentless iron play and steady putting helped her dominate the later holes of the morning round and throughout the afternoon.

Pressel holed a 3-foot birdie putt to win the ninth and go 1 up. Martinez fought back, holing a 24-foot chip on the 12th for a birdie and squared the match when Pressel missed a 9-footer to halve the hole. But the deadlock was only momentary.

Pressel birdied three of the next six holes to go into lunch with a 4-up lead.

“Definitely on 16, 17 and 18, I started to not play well,” said Martinez. “It was like my body wasn’t responding the way I wanted it to. I was probably tired because I just tried to do the same thing but nothing went right.”

Pressel and Martinez are petite but sturdy and Pressel had a 20-yard advantage off the tee in the morning. An hour of rain during the lunch break would seemingly put Martinez at a distinct disadvantage. On the wet fairways, both got little roll on their tee shots. Where Martinez had previously approached the greens with short- and mid-irons, she was forced to hit longer irons in the afternoon, which meant less accuracy on Settindown Creek’s small targets.

Pressel got even less roll and was also hitting longer clubs for her approach shots, although with greater accuracy.

Martinez had trouble finding the greens after the lunch break, losing six holes, two with balls in the water. She won just two holes in that stretch and was in the desperate category of being eight holes down with nine to play.

With softer greens any ball struck near the flagstick stuck like a dart. Pressel continued the sharp iron play she had demonstrated all week. On the 19th hole she hit it to within six feet of the hole and the birdie putt was conceded. She hit it to within three feet and made birdie at the 20th. Her approach to the 22nd hole was within six feet for a conceded birdie. At the 26th hole, another 5-5-foot birdie putt was conceded.

“I struck the ball extremely well this week,” said Pressel. “I made a lot of putts.”

The match ended quickly on the par-5 28th hole. Martinez hit the green in regulation, but three-putted from 45 feet, the last miss coming from five feet. Pressel was on the fringe in three strokes, just 16 feet away and hit her first putt to within a foot of the hole. Martinez conceded the putt before missing the par putt to extend the match.

Pressel had an outstanding week of golf. In 142 holes week, both match and stroke play, she was 36 under par. She’s on her way to Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort next week to defend her title in the North & South Women’s Amateur to be played on the No. 2 (site of the 2005 U.S. Open) and No. 8 courses, then will compete as an amateur in two professional events. She will also attempt to survive the first stage of qualifying for the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour.

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 or comments at dshefter@usga.org

Roswell, Ga. – Results of the final match of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course at Ansley Golf Club.

FINAL

Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla., (142) def. Maru Martinez, Venezuela, (149), 9 and 8.

 

 
Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The United States Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Witch Hollow course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club will be set at 3,325-3,055/3091 – 6,380/6,416, par 71. The par-3 tenth hole can be played from one of two yardages, 158 yards or 194 yards, which accounts for the differing total yardages.

USGA COURSE RATING™ AND SLOPE RATING® — The USGA Course Rating for Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club at 6,380 yards is 79.1; Slope Rating is 148. At 6,416 yards, the Course Rating is 79.3; Slope Rating is 149.

ARCHITECT: The Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge was designed by golf architect Bob Cupp and opened in 1992.

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

Monday, Aug. 7 – First round, stroke play (18 holes)
Tuesday, Aug. 8 – Second round, stroke play (18 holes). After conclusion of the 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers, who will advance to match play.
Wednesday, Aug. 9 – First round, match play (18 holes)
Thursday, Aug. 10 – Second round, match play (18 holes); Third round, match play (18 holes)
Friday, Aug. 11 – Quarterfinals, match play (18 holes)
Saturday, Aug. 12 – Semifinals, match play (18 holes)
Sunday, Aug. 13 – Final, match play (36 holes)

TELEVISION COVERAGE: Television coverage of the championship begins with the first round of match play on The Golf Channel.

Aug. 9 – First Round 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 10 – Second and Third Rounds 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 11 – Quarterfinals 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 12 – Semifinals 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 13 – Final 7 - 9 p.m.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: When entries closed June 21, a record 969 contestants had entered the championship. The previous record entry was 873 in 2005.

 

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