Notes: Pressel's confidence; Stanford's run; more
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland Morgan Pressel and her strapping caddie, Barry Cesarz (aka “The Rock”), play the occasional round together in South Florida. As Cesarz stands in the fairway with a 7-iron in his hand, he knows the boss is likely to hit it closer with her hybrid.
What Cesarz feels in that moment, is what opponents of Pressel’s have felt her entire career, and it can be maddening. Case in point: the back nine at the Old Course on Friday. Pressel hit 5-wood in on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 and parred all three. On the Road Hole, she hit it to 25 feet from 205 yards.
“The confidence is back,” said The Rock, “which is big.”
It used to be that Pressel would step up to a shot and let Cesarz offer her direction. She usually agreed. In recent weeks, however, Pressel has started taking back control of her golf game. She picks the target and the club and goes after it. Her level of focus is back to pre-injury form.
Pressel’s attitude in the interview area is light and playful. She’s thoroughly enjoying her time at the Old Course – a vast difference to 2007 – and it shows in her results.
Of course, it helps that she has only gone in one bunker – a fairway bunker on No. 6 – in 36 holes. She’s tied for second at 8-under 136 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, one shot behind leader Miki Saiki as the second round continues.
“I don’t know where it will end up at the end of the day,” Pressel said, “but I’m going to go back and take a nap while everybody else plays in the wind.”
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Angela Stanford wasn’t even sure if she wanted to come to the Old Course. Weary from lugging her Diet Dr. Peppers overseas for so many years, the 35-year-old thought she might sit this one out. This Texan doesn’t even like wind.
Alas, Stanford decided to make the trip. After all, her beloved Solheim Cup team is being announced Sunday and she wouldn’t want to disappoint captain Meg Mallon. Stanford flew out Tuesday and arrived Wednesday morning in London. A missed connection to Edinburgh led to missing golf clubs. She walked around the Old Course on Wednesday hitting clubs out of good friend Gerina Piller’s bag.
But never mind all that, she’s 5 under after shooting 69-70 and, once again, very much in contention at a major.
As for her clubs, Ping was 30 minutes away from having a set complete for her when she got word that her bags would arrive by 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“I didn’t have a back-up,” she said. “Now I do.”
As for sleeping accommodations, Stanford joined several other friends at a local B&B several miles out of town. While she thought they were all in the same house, turns out they’re all in the same room. Gerina Piller, Dori Carter, Kristy McPherson and Stanford flew to Scotland to play in a major and a slumber party broke out.
“I’ve actually enjoyed it,” said Stanford, laughing. “I like my friends.”
• • •
It’s hard not to feel for Yani Tseng. Two years ago she was on top of the world at Carnoustie, the winner of back-to-back British Opens and the untouchable World No. 1. Since she admitted to feelings of relief for losing her No. 1 ranking, Tseng has all but imploded.
Tseng’s 72-74 at the Old Course brings her consecutive missed cut tally to a whopping four. She made only three birdies in 36 holes this week, and took 68 putts.
• • •
Michelle Wie rebounded with a 2-under 70 to keep her Solheim Cup hopes alive. Laura Davies, meanwhile, had no such luck. Davies, the only player who has competed in each Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990, shot 76 to miss the cut. She was spotted walking on her own back into town shortly after her round. The legendary Englishwoman could still get in on a captain’s pick, but her performance this week makes it unlikely.
“Chances are I’m not going to get in now, but I’ve only got myself to blame to be honest,” said Davies. “I’ve had two good years of trying to get in it and have played in a lot of tournaments. My putting has let me down. It’s as simple as that.”