Following an injury-riddled 2012 season, Pressel refused to be sidelined and had full determination to fight through the struggles of piecing her golf game back together. Her persistence revealed grave potential as she gave herself chances to win in two major championships this year.
“It’s a good time to feel like you’re playing well,” Pressel said of her recent play.
Entering the RICOH Women’s British Open, Pressel was ranked 12th on the Solheim Cup points list with hardly a chance at earning enough points to make the team. To earn one of the twelve spots, she needed to surpass Jennifer Johnson in the Rolex Rankings. Before tournament play began Johnson was ranked No. 50 while Pressel was at No. 51.
Knowing her spot was on the line last week, Pressel channeled an aggression unlike ever before and managed to dominate the vaunted Old Course at St. Andrews. After leading the third round, Pressel finished in a tie for fourth which jumped her ten spots in the Rolex Rankings to sit at No. 41.
She proved to U.S captain Meg Mallon that not only her game but also her competitiveness was a necessity for this year’s team.
“Having played on three teams, it's something that I don't want to miss and something that I definitely thought a lot about, and at the same time, tried not to think about and tried to worry about focusing on each week,” said Pressel. “But I’m so glad to have made the team this year. It's a special week.”
Pressel has fared well in major championships this season, notching top-4 finishes at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in June and last week’s RICOH Women’s British Open. The Boca Raton, Fla. native had put herself in perfect position to end a nearly five-year winless streak after leading at least one round during both majors.
Although she remains without a win since the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic, her performance on the toughest stages in golf had given her the physical and mental reassurance that she had been seeking all season.
“I feel like I’ve been mentally stronger than I’ve ever been in my career,” said Pressel. “So it was encouraging to me that I am capable of not only playing well, but also being that mentally strong.”
With bursts of spectacular play this season, Pressel believes she is just beginning to tap into what she knows she's capable of accomplishing.
“(This year) I felt like I had been playing well, but my scores weren’t really reflecting that,” said Pressel. “I felt like I would play great in practice and feel like I was driving it well on the driving range, but then I would miss a cut. It was discouraging but I know that I’m playing well and that I’m capable of more than missing cuts.”
Pressel is now fully recovered and feeling like her game is almost back to its truest form. She says the lessons she learned during her road to recovery has helped renew her mindset for the rest of the year.
“I’m just trying to see a clearer picture,” said Pressel. “I’m just trying to be more committed to my shots and not pull the trigger if there’s ever any indecision. I’m stubborn and it sounds easy but it’s not.
“It took a while to really want to play golf again and enjoy playing golf again, and I feel like I'm in a better place.”