Pressel consistently competitive for Women's Golf
Oct. 31, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- When freshman Madison Pressel walks a golf course, she looks around and, figuratively, takes time to smell the roses.
"I'm outside, playing beautiful courses," Pressel explains. "How great is that?"
But while Pressel has an appreciation for the environment, her focus never wavers. And that focus is crystal clear.
"She just flat out likes to get the ball in the hole," Texas Women's Golf Coach Martha Richards says.
As the Longhorns prepare for their hometown Challenge at Onion Creek, a two-day tournament that completes the fall campaign, no one has been more consistent than Pressel when it comes to getting the ball in the hole. Pressel has been the Longhorns' top-finisher at their three fall events, highlighted by a pair of top-20 showings at the highly competitive Mason Rudolph Women's Championship and Stanford Intercollegiate.
Through that stretch Pressel also provided some flash. She flew out of the gates in Palo Alto, Calif., two weeks ago with a 6-under 65, which stands as UT's single-round school record. Pressel's highlight reel included seven birdies -- including two-straight to finish off the round.
Pressel said that day was a testament to ball-striking.
"I was hitting everything so close, I didn't have to work to make putts," she said.
Pressel has been playing golf since grade school, and, through her life on the golf course, has gained an understanding of her game that belies her age. She understands her swing, and places a premium on shot-making.
That allows her to formulate a game plan, and execute it with confidence.
"Madison's greatest attribute is her competiveness," Richards says. "She's not afraid of anything, or any golf course. And that's a wonderful way to play golf."
When Pressel teed off in the final round of the Mason Rudolph, she stood in 36th place -- a respectable position, perhaps, for a freshman, but not exactly satisfactory for Pressel.
"She's hungry to show that she's one of the best players in the country," Richards says.
Pressel used a flawless 3-under 69 -- three birdies, no bogeys -- to surge up the leaderboard for a T-15 finish.
"I came into college with no expectations. I just knew I wanted my game to grow," Pressel says. "You just want to play the best you can."
Now, Pressel and her UT teammates prepare for their final event of the fall season with some different, but meaningful, preparation. On Sunday morning, the Longhorns will also join with the Texas Women's Basketball team to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Pressel's mother, Kathy, passed away six years ago after a battle with breast cancer, and Pressel and her family have always been active in the fight against breast cancer. Her older sister, Morgan, has even started the "Morgan and Friends Fight Cancer" charity event in Florida.
Pressel was already planning on running this year in Austin on her own, but she figured getting her whole team out there would be even better.
"I just want to be as involved as I can, and I'm proud how much everybody else supports this," Pressel says. "It's pretty neat that we'll be able to do it with 20,000 other people who care so much."