Q: Thoughts on coming back to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s Champions?
Morgan Pressel: I am excited about coming back to Singapore. I’ve always loved Singapore. I am not a fan of travelling out of the country but Singapore is definitely one the places I enjoy the most, even over places in the United States. It’s a great golf course and I have been looking forward to it for quite sometime.
Q: Singapore is very hot and humid, how are you acclimatising yourself?
MP: It usually very warm over there but I am from Florida so I’ve spent many summers in the strong heat. It will be warm but I am used to it. I am just going to enjoy and make sure I don’t wear any jackets - I am leaving all my jackets at home.
Q: You didn’t have a very auspicious start to the season, how does it hold for you for the rest of the year?
MP: Last week was the first time I have competed in a long time so it took me a couple of days to get used to being back on Tour and competing. Having to hit shots and put the ball in the hole. You practice on the off-season but nothing is quite the same as when you start a tournament.
I think that I am ready to go and I don’t think the first season has any effect one way or the other it is just a chance to get back into it.
Q: Some of the older players like Annika have stepped away from the game. Do you think some of the younger ones like yourself will be able to step up and take over from them?
MP: I don’t think anybody will fill their roles, I don’t think that is possible. Nobody can fill the role of a Nancy Lopez or an Annika Sorenstam but they can create their own legacies and their own traditions and history, and that is certainly what each generation tries to do. They try to out-do the generation before and records are meant to be broken. There will certainly be some great golf coming up in the near future and there is a whole new crew of girls that have appeared on the scene, even just in the last year. I think the future of the LPGA is bright and the product is very strong. We are unfortunate that we have such a poor economy at the moment but we will see how the world responds to the new generation on the LPGA Tour.
Q: Based on your experience last year give us your thoughts on the Tanah Merah Garden Course.
MP: I think it is a fantastic golf course and I am not just saying that because I am on a call for the event. I really do, it’s fun, it’s challenging with a great mix of tough and easy birdie holes. You really can’t fall asleep. It’s cool to see the planes landing by the 13th hole and it’s one of the best courses I’ve played anywhere. I really like it.
Q: What was it about last year’s HSBC Women’s Champions that was most memorable for you?
MP: The Welcome Reception was great and the Tiffany jewellery was very cool. HSBC with IMG just run a great event. They know how to treat the players well. One of the most memorable things I remember was the weather, which was pretty terrible. We had a few stop and starts, especially on the last day but it is a great event where they treat us well and spending time in a great city like Singapore is fun.
Q: Your statistics last year were quite mixed. For driving accuracy you were quite high and for driving length you were among the lower ranks.
MP: I have definitely been working on hitting the ball further. We’ll see how it goes. I am concerned with hitting the ball more solidly and consistently and if I can do that I should hit it further. That’s my goal and I have worked hard so hopefully I can improve my driving distance. The stat is hard to keep on Tour as we only measure it on two holes a week but definitely I am one of the shorter hitters and hopefully I can fix that.
Q: What are you doing to find more distance?
MP: You can’t really go searching for distance. You can try to make little improvements. I have been working on my body and my strength and trying to find the perfect driver. I have also been working my golf swing and trying to make it more efficient through the ball. That is something I have been lacking and have been looking for.
Q: What are the toughest challenges at Tanah Merah Garden Course?
MP: The greens are very tricky to read. The golf course is always in fantastic shape so the greens will hold true but are tough to read. Most tournaments come down to putting and this one is going to be no different. I will be taking risks where I can, going for the green off the 16th tee and seeing where it puts you and what you can do with it.
Q: You won last year but you said you wanted more, how did last season affect your start and approach to this year?
MP: I just had a lot of disappointments last year. Too many missed cuts, too many poor finishes. I just wasn’t in the hunt as often as I would like to be. So I took that into the off season and thought I just had to work harder. If you’re not working hard then somebody else is going to pass you and that’s what has started to happen on our Tour so I need to step up my game.
Q: What are your goals for the HSBC Women’s Champions and what are you looking forward to most?
MP: I am looking to have fun. It is going to be a great week. I am going to play my best and try to make a lot of birdies which always helps. I didn’t make enough birdies last week [in Hawaii] but I just want to focus on making as many putts as I can and hopefully I can do well. I am really looking forward to it.
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse