An Interview With: Morgan Pressel

RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Morgan Pressel with a 70 today, 1-under par is in the tie for the lead, at plus 1. How does that feel, Morgan.

MORGAN PRESSEL: It feels great. I am coming here to win. So to be in that top spot going into the last day it really is exciting.

RHONDA GLENN: Your round today was a little steadier than you have played, you just had two bogeys and three birdies. A lot of pars. Did it feel steadier out there or was it still an emotional roller coaster?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I scared myself a little too much today. I gave myself too many, like five-, six-, seven-footers, maybe even longer on, 16, par putts, but they all went in today. So that was the high point, I guess my putting.

RHONDA GLENN: Let's talk about your scorecard. Second hole you made a 5.

MORGAN PRESSEL: I drove it in the rough on the right, just had to chip out. Hit a miserable pitching wedge way left and had a good two-putt from about 60 feet.

RHONDA GLENN: No. 7, birdie 3.

MORGAN PRESSEL: I hit 3-wood, pitching wedge into about ten feet.

RHONDA GLENN: No. 8, birdie 2.

MORGAN PRESSEL: That felt real good because I had done so poorly on that hole all day and I hit 11-wood to about six feet.

RHONDA GLENN: Bogey on 10.

MORGAN PRESSEL: Drove it in the left rough but I hit really good shot out and the whole fairway kind of slopes to the left. It hit the rough, kind of stayed there. If it would have been a little left it probably would have rolled right in the green. Hit my chip a little too hard and lipped out about 8-footer.

RHONDA GLENN: Final birdie on No. 11.

MORGAN PRESSEL: I hit pretty good drive down the center and 3-wood -- I was actually unlucky because I was almost too far where I didn't get the help of the downslope over that bunker. So I kind of carried it a little too far and was just in the first cut, almost holed out a little chip. I thought it was in the hole, but apparently it wasn't.

RHONDA GLENN: Your putt was how long?

MORGAN PRESSEL: A foot.

Q. You seemed to like the word "miserable" when you describe bad shots. Seems to kind of describe the way you felt when you came off the course at the end of the first day. I am wondering just how you pulled yourself together because you really seemed like you were on a downer, here you are two days later you are in the position to win?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I kind of look back at the round and said, you know, although I did blow up at the end, it's not the end of the world. It's a long tournament. I still have three days left, I knew I could get right back in it. I was in it but I can get closer and I am, so....

Q. Could you talk little bit about your caddie. This is, what, the second event you two have been together?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Last day at the Michelob, too.

Q. How did you two come together at the Michelob? How did it work out?

MORGAN PRESSEL: We had so many rain delays at the Michelob, we had to play 36 holes the final day and my caddie was getting a blister on his foot and he said that he probably wasn't going to be able to make a 36. And we talked to, I don't know, the tournament director said -- came back with a couple of names of caddies that we can use. We said, oh, we'll try Sam Hinshaw. It's worked out great.

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.

RHONDA GLENN: Has your grand dad helped you deal with like playing in front of people, talking to the press, the things that are on the peripheral edges of golf?

MORGAN PRESSEL: To tell you the truth we haven't really talked that much about stuff like that, but he's always like, "Don't worry about people around you, just worry about your game. And if you play well, you will do fine."

Things like that, so...

RHONDA GLENN: Good common sense.

MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. Full of common sense.

Q. You keep hearing reasons why you shouldn't win or that you are too young, I am sure you are tired of hearing all the reasons why you can't, what do you think the biggest advantage you have is? What sets up in your favor going into tomorrow?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't know what necessarily would set up in my favor. I think I am playing good golf. I think I can close the deal. I am putting well, if I continue to putt well, maybe I can strike the ball a little better tomorrow, then I think I am all set. I don't know if there's anything that sets me ahead of everyone else because everyone out here -- you have got to be pretty good if you are leading the Open.

Q. You are putting very, very, very well. Explain, if you will, the ritual of your hand behind your back before each putt?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well actually started it at Rolex Girls last year a year ago, and it's just to make sure -- when I go out, especially the past two days I have been doing it when I first go out in practice putting, I will put just left arm only and just to make sure that I keep my left arm going straight through the ball because sometimes my right hand gets a little too overactive. When I set up just left arm only, I am kind of getting that same feel at the same time, making sure that my grip is perfect on my left hand and not too far over, that it's flat on the side.

Q. Maybe we should all do it.

MORGAN PRESSEL: (Laughs).

Q. Do we make too much of last group pressure or maybe that's a question I should ask you tomorrow? And in that context, given the fact that you can still play in the second-to-last group and be tied for the lead, was it a little bit of bad break to be the first one to post at one between you and Michelle?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh, I don't think so. I am real excited to go out tomorrow in the last group. I mean, it's going to be just as much pressure that I am going to put on myself whereas any pressure from anybody else.

Hopefully we will have a nice gallery following us. It will be exciting coming down the stretch. Just got to play my game, whether I am in the second-to-last group or the last, it doesn't matter.

Q. How do you think you are going to sleep tonight?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I will tell you tomorrow morning (laughs).

I don't really know right now. We'll see.

Q. Have you stayed in a routine afternoons and evenings, has that been pretty good for you at this point?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, first day I played early then had a lot of time yesterday. I played late and got home late, and thank God I didn't have to watch a basketball game last night, the Pistons are just...

Anyways, (laughs) I don't know, I mean, I will just go home. I don't know whether we'll go out or have room service. Depends on how lazy I am.

Q. What you are saying tonight, maybe your first normal night?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Maybe. I don't know if there is really normal night. Everything is just take it as it comes. Whatever I have time for whatever I feel like at that moment.

Q. You have obviously got family here with your grandparents but what kind of communications are you getting from friends and other family at home, calls, text messages, e-mails, whatever?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Oh yeah, I have gotten a few e-mails. Getting a lot of messages, phone messages, people calling, congratulating, saying, "Good job. We saw you on TV." My friends are, "Oh, my God. I saw you on TV yesterday." (Laughs).

So I guess that goes back to the attention that they don't know I am getting. They see me on TV, it's like oh, my God.

Q. Your younger sister Madison was in a local tournament yesterday, and did pretty well. Have you guys talked? How does she feel about this?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I haven't spoken to her. I didn't speak to her yesterday. She played all right yesterday. I mean, I have talked to my dad and he's excited and, you know, everyone is excited, so it's fun.

Q. I am just curious, any part of you that's bummed that there's no money at stake here that you can't get a big check that you can walk away with?

MORGAN PRESSEL: Maybe tomorrow afternoon, if I win and I look back and say, oh darn, 550,000, but -- (laughs).

You know, I don't even think it would matter if there was money at stake. I am a competitor and I want to win whether it means a lot of money or not. I mean, second, third, fourth, it's not really that much of a difference. It's not that big of a deal. No one remembers you finished second. They remember who won.

Q. With you and Michelle, Brittany, 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.

Q. I am curious yesterday after you finished in the flash area you stayed around and were kind of watching Annika in the same area. Were you just trying to get a feel for how she handled herself in that or was that just you just happened to be there?

MORGAN PRESSEL: I was just kind of hanging around, just listening to what she had to say, how she felt about how her round, what she would say, and just to watch how she handled herself really. I look up to her a lot. She's a great player.

End of FastScripts.


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