Featured Golf News
Pressel Back in Action
Editor's Note: One of the LPGA Tour's most exciting players, Morgan Pressel, is back in action this week. One of the year's major winners is in Edmonton, Canada, to play in the Canadian Women's Open. Pressel discussed her breakthrough year with reporters during a media session on Wednesday at the tournament site, Royal Mayfair Golf Club.
MODERATOR: Thank you all for joining us. We have Morgan Pressel, obviously one of our major championship winners this year. This is your second time that you've had a chance to play in Canada for the CN Canadian Women's Open as a professional. Compare last year to this year. How are you feeling about this week?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I'm excited to come back. Obviously a different venue, but I really like playing here. It's a beautiful place and a great golf course. I had a great experience last year. I didn't really play so well, and I think that my game is in a much better spot, so hopefully I can play better this year.
Q. I guess when you won the Kraft Nabisco, I know you passed on a scholarship to pursue your pro career, but does that put you at ease at all, just with making that decision not to go to university? I know you also intended to qualify for the U.S. Open Amateur. Did that kind of put things in place for you, that you made the decision to turn pro when you did?
MORGAN PRESSEL: You mean by winning?
MORGAN PRESSEL: No, I don't think that that was really something where I said, oh, now that I've won I made the right decision. I think that almost right away I kind of knew -- I got off to a good start in the season last year, and I just knew that this was where I wanted to be. I wanted to be out here competing against the best players in the world, and this was going to further my education in golf that I wasn't going to get at Duke. Duke is a great place and I would have had a great experience, but I've always thought that this was the right decision.
Q. I missed your comment off the top there, but can you talk about the course? There's 96 bunkers here. Does this course favor perhaps a risk-taker or someone who needs to stay a little cautious to not make a mistake?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I think that the fairways are fairly generous. But I mean, you've got to hit the shots. A lot of the holes are right to left, so I hit a little bit of a draw so that's going to help me a bit. You've just got to be pretty precise with second shots. There's a lot of really big greens with some slopes. Some of them, like the 9th green, has three tiers. You've just got to make sure you're on the right levels so you don't have 50-, 60-foot putts. You're occasionally going to get a couple of those, so I guess work on your lag putting. Like I talked with the bunkers, I've practiced hitting out of a lot of bunkers this week, and about a month ago I worked pretty hard on my bunker play because it hasn't been that great. It's pretty good now, so hopefully it'll be good this week. Hopefully I won't hit it in any bunkers.
Q. Can you talk about the fact that the ladies Tour has 15 different winners, only a couple of multiple winners, unlike the PGA Tour where it seems to be Tiger against the field? Does that make it a more level playing field for all the ladies starting a tournament, that they've all got a really good shot, there's not one preeminent player?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think that's one of the great things about the LPGA Tour this season is that there have been so many first-time winners, like you said, 15 different winners, I believe. So in a tournament there are so many different people that are good enough to come out on top any given week, and that's really great. It shows the depth of the LPGA and how many really great players we have out here.
Q. This is more of a feature question. Talking about the depth of the LPGA, it's a great Tour. I know you've been outspoken in the past about Michelle Wie's decision to try to make the PGA Tour instead of playing full-time on the LPGA Tour. What's your opinion of that as a female golfer, her trying to do that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: What is my opinion on her trying to play --
Q. To make the PGA, to make the cut there.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, it's something that she wants to do. It's an ambition that she has, and we all have ambitions. I've always just said that we love it when she comes out and plays on our Tour because she does bring a lot of publicity. I think she's starting to play a little bit more out here, and I think that -- we'll see what happens.
Q. So many young talented players on Tour right now, but around these parts it's a bit of a struggle to get young girls to pick up the game of golf. What do you think the secret is to getting the younger, the next generation? Maybe Canada is difficult with the weather, but what do you think is a good way to get maybe more young girls to play golf?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Wow, that's a good question. Like you said, in south Florida junior golf is all over the place, and it's pretty big. But I'd assume it's a little harder up here when it's so cold most of the year. I think when I started playing my grandfather took me out to play, and I just had a great time to begin with. It's more -- it's something that parents can't really pressure their kids to do, but it's something that -- take them out a couple times, have some games, and that's how I fell in love with it. I mean, I'm sure it would be a great way to get some more girls involved.
Q. Is there an LPGA video game out there?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't think so.
Q. There should be.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I mean, I know that there's the Tiger Woods video games, the Tiger Woods Golf and PGA Tour '07, and I'm going to be in the '08, so there are going to be some girls in it. I don't know whether to start an LPGA game (laughter).
Q. I know the LPGA takes great pride in putting out a good product. I know on-site there's the fashion people and the makeup people and all that. I think a lot of people I've talked to say these ladies look so good out there, and you do. Is there something that you have that everybody looks so good and there's nobody out there looking like John Daly? Do you take into consideration that you're going to be on TV and try and look your best? Is that a thought of most players?
MORGAN PRESSEL: For me it is. I want to play well, but I also want to look good and I want to feel good. Polo Ralph Lauren has been fantastic with me and my wardrobe, and it's really great, both on and off the course. So in that sense, I feel like I've really -- I've got great clothing to choose from so that I can look good when I come out here.
Q. Can you talk about the disparity, the difference between the ladies and the men? You talked about Tiger Woods and the question was asked about Tiger. Do you think it's better that different ladies are winning or spread out more, or do you see someone maybe like Lorena who maybe jumped to the front of the line. Is it better to have diverse winners or would one lady taking control still be okay?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Is it better? I don't know, I think that for a period of time we had Annika winning a lot, Karrie winning, Se Ri Pak winning, so it was kind of -- it was all clumped, all the victories went to a few people. But it's just a trend now, it's spreading out to more players. Obviously Lorena winning quite a bit, but there are other players that can contend, and it's not two names on the leaderboard that you look at and say, oh, they have a chance. There's 10 or 15 names where you say they all have a chance to win come Sunday.
Q. Further to the youth question, because there's so many young players on the Tour right now, does it make the transition a little easier for you, a little less daunting when you're going into a field with experienced players, now there's more people that you can kind of relate to and understand what goes on in getting into the game?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, I think so. I think that there's a lot of players out here who I grew up with through junior golf, Paula, Juliana, Brittany Lincicome, all these players who I've known since I started playing junior golf at 12, 13, and they're all out here, and we're all out here competing and playing against the best players in the world. So just to have that familiarity is helpful. But I've made so many great friends, so it's wonderful.
Q. You talked a little bit about the trouble 9. Are there any other holes that you think are really going to make or break?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yes, 15 is a very good hole. I think there are a lot of holes that you've kind of got to think your way around your approach shots especially, as in where you want to leave it. I think that these greens could get -- they're not really quick yet, but I think that they've been getting quicker every day. So I think come Sunday, they could be pretty quick from above the hole. There's some pretty steep slopes. I mean, a lot of the -- I think that some of the greens break a little bit more than they look like they would. I mean, we'll see coming down the stretch; you never know. But 18 is a great finishing hole.
Q. You were saying there's a lot of parity in the LPGA right now, but is there one name that kind of stands out that you always kind of check the leaderboard to see how that one person is doing specifically?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't think so, no. I mean, I'm out there playing my own game. I don't think you really kind of look like that.
MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming, and good luck this week.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Thank you.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.