Back to work

AP / File
Morgan Pressel became the youngest major champion in LPGA history more than a week ago. The 18-year-old has three top-10 finishes and currently sits atop this season's money list.

REUNION, Fla. - Morgan Pressel has one word to describe the past few days since becoming the youngest major champion in LPGA history.


"Crazy," she said.

Normal is nowhere in sight for this 18-year-old.

The golf clubs she used to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship this month were stolen. Her grandfather, Herb Krickstein, thinks they were swiped at the airport in Palm Springs, Calif.; Pressel believes someone took them when she landed in Fort Lauderdale. She got a flat tire on the way to practice last week, and people she doesn't even know are approaching her nonstop with well-wishes.

"I can't walk five feet without somebody saying congratulations," Pressel said. "And it's so cute to know that so many people actually did watch and it's such a big deal for me."

Yet now, Pressel is back to work this week at the Ginn Open near Orlando, meaning the period of basking in major championship glory - and her first tour win - is over.

"I try not to think about it that much," Pressel said when asked whether she spent much time reflecting on the major win. "It is just another tournament, it is just one tournament - and hopefully it is the first of many."

Pressel left her Boca Raton home and made the drive of a few hours Saturday night to begin preparing for the Ginn, an event where she missed the cut last year. Arriving early afforded her the chance of getting some extra practice rounds, although they haven't prevented her from another favorite pastime.

"I did go shopping a couple times," Pressel said.

Around this time six years ago, Pressel found time to practice her chipping and her clarinet. At 12, she became the youngest to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open and - a nod to her maturity, even then - said she expected to finish last in that field. Now, Pressel's a threat to win whenever she plays.

"She's a pretty mature young lady even though she's only 18," Krickstein said. "I see no difference in her. This is not overwhelming for her. ... For good or for bad, she's been in the limelight since she was 12. So she's handled it pretty well."

The season is a long way from over, yet Pressel is already fielding questions about the possibility of winning player of the year and other top honors. She finds it all very flattering.

"I've always had high expectations and I've always demanded a lot from myself as far as my golf game and my career," Pressel said. "If it changes anything, it just gives me more confidence. I still go out every week hoping to win and trying to play my best to win, and now I know I can."



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