Preview: US Women’s Open – Round 4

mulligan, 25 June 2005, Comments Off on Preview: US Women’s Open – Round 4
Categories: Uncategorized

As noted here by Mulligan, tomorrow’s final round of the US Women’s Open will have many young females having the opportunity to win. Looking at the leaderboard, I wonder how many golf viewers had to ask someone what the (a) meant next to players such as Michelle Wie or Morgan Pressel. Many golf fans tend to watch the PGA Tour where amatuers infrequently compete, and when amateurs do play, they rarely appear on the leaderboard. I have written a post about what it means to be an amateur which can be found here.

Now for Round 4. For those golfers who really like side stories, tomorrow’s final round at the US Women’s Open will be for you. Tomorrow’s tee-times have been set, and in the last three groups, you have 3 of the “next” LPGA Tour players (Paula Creamer, Wie, and Pressel). Creamer is the only of the three who is actually an LPGA Tour member, and she just graduated high school. These three women will be the future of the LPGA, including players like Natalie Gulbis and Grace Park.

For those of you who do not know, Pressel is the number one ranked women’s amateur player in the United States, according to Golfweek. (Duke Junior Brittany Lang is ranked #4 and Wie is ranked #7). Pressel, who plans to attend Duke in the fall of 2006, is a bit of a hot head, as noted here by fellow blogger Mulligan, and feels that she lives in the shadow if Michelle, even though she is higher ranked. In her post round interview today, Pressel discusses her relationship with Wie:

Q. You are a pretty accomplished amateur but Michelle seems to get a lot of attention. Is there a part of you that says, hey, look at me, I have done pretty well for myself?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, you know, I probably haven’t gotten as much opportunities in the bigger events that she has, but we’re tied going into the last day and I mean, if I play well tomorrow I think I will get my share of attention, so…..

Q. On that note, do you think that you should have been getting more attention or as much attention as Michelle, have you tried and failed or has this just been by choice that you have been going down the path you have gone?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I don’t think attention is something that you can choose, whether you have it or not, I don’t mind the attention. I like the attention. I like playing in front of big galleries and but I think it helped me because I had a lot of attention when I was young and I kind of lost it a little bit and now I have been able to work hard on my game kind of under the radar more so.

Unfortunately, Wie was not asked a similar question about her rivalry with Pressel, but she was asked some interesting questions:

Q. You and Morgan are both co-leaders 17 and 15 year olds. What do you think this does for golf for teenagers, do you think a lot of people will be tuning in tomorrow because you guys are so young?

MICHELLE WIE: I think so. It’s going to attract a lot of attention. I think it just shows how much better amateurs are these days, and you know, it’s great to have Morgan in contention tomorrow. I am just really focused on my game tomorrow.

Q. If you add the ages of you and Morgan, you get the age of Stupples, what do you think of just the fact of living experience, disparity between how long you and Morgan has lived with what Karen has been through, will factor in what happens in the pressure tomorrow?

MICHELLE WIE: We just won’t tell her that you said that. I just think that in some moments age doesn’t matter. I just — we are all playing the same game. Of course, she played it a lot longer, of course she’s a lot older than I am, but I still think that we’re still playing golf tomorrow and just — it just comes down to who plays best.

Q. No matter how you do tomorrow is there anything you have left to prove as an amateur?

MICHELLE WIE: Well, I mean, in any tournament that I enter into I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. But I am just having a lot of fun as an amateur. It’s a lot more care free.

Pressel also discussed the “youth” movement on the LPGA:

Q. With you and Michelle [Wie], Brittany [Lange], Paige Mackenzie shot a 69 today. Young pros like Paula and everybody it looks like a tennis tournament out here with all the teenagers and everything. Is that a statement of the great youth programs that you have had that have really improved over the course of time in the States and everywhere else?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh definitely. I have got people say, oh she’s only 17 but I have had so much experience whether it’s playing — you know, AJGA events are so they give you so much experience, you play on such great courses. There’s so much competition through the younger generations through the juniors and the amateur, the young people who are in college. You come out here and you have played against people that are almost just as good.

It’s great experience playing in all those events it’s really helped me a lot, definitely.

Tomorrow will be a great day for women’s sport. Annika is +6 and only 5 shots back. There are 22 players including Annika and Gulbis who are within 5 shots of the lead. There are 4 amateurs in the top 25. It looks like there could be some good golf coming down the stretch and hopefully the women will not disappoint.

My prediction is that Morgan Pressel wins. She seems to be wanting it the most, and she’s got a bit of fire in her that others do not seem to have. But, I just hope that it is not an blow out or a bloodbath, where no one deserves to win.


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