The Kid Becomes A Champ
Sunday, April 1st 2007, 5:03 pm
News On 6
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) _ Morgan Pressel became the youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history Sunday with a game well beyond her 18 years, closing with a 3-under 69 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship as everyone around her self-destructed.
Pressel played her final 25 holes over Mission Hills without a bogey, finishing the round with a 10-foot birdie putt that looked as though it would be only good enough for second place.
Then came a shocking collapse from Suzann Pettersen, the latest and most significant on a sun-baked afternoon in the desert.
Pettersen, a fiery 25-year-old from Norway, had a four-shot lead with four holes to play when she started hitting tee shots into the ankle deep rough and missing putts on the crusty greens. She went bogey-double bogey-bogey to fall one shot behind, and needing a birdie on the par-5 18th, she hit wedge some 25 feet beyond the hole and missed the putt.
Pressel was on the practice range when she entered the history books.
Previously, the youngest major champion was Sandra Post, who was 20 years, 19 days when she won the 1968 LPGA Championship. On the men's tour, Young Tom Morris was 17 when he won the 1868 British Open.
The kid broke down in tears again, this time over the shock and euphoria of winning a major 10 months after graduating high school.
``Oh my God! Oh my God!'' was all she could manage.