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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Short People, Low Scores

I don't mean short in stature, although I suppose at 5'5", 5'1", and 5'0" respectively, Morgan Pressel, Jiyai Shin, and Jeong Jang might fit the bill. (The pics are from their bio pages at LPGA.com.)

Morgan Pressel, Jiyai Shin, and Jang

No, I'm referring to their lack of length off the tee. This week:
  • Morgan Pressel is averaging 236.83 yards,
  • Jiyai Shin, 239.17 yards, and
  • Jeong Jang, 228.17 yards.
There's no way to label these ladies as bombers, and yet Morgan has the lead at -11 and the other two are T2 at -9. And who's right behind them?
  • Brittany Lincicome at 265.33 yards and
  • Alexis Thompson at 272.83 yards.
Both of them are at -8. And this on a wet course!

Court noted in a comment on yesterday's post that Lexi (that's the name she's going by on tour, regardless of what her bio page says) was very impressive with her eagle on 18, as well as how she handled herself in the interviews... and I have to agree. But I was way more impressed with Morgan's eagle on 18!

Tom Abbott talked to Morgan on TGC after her round about her attempts to gain some yardage so she could be more competitive on tour. A quick check of her stats show her averaging 242.3 yards (T96 on tour) this year; in 2008, she averaged 229.8 yards (158 on tour) -- almost 15 yards longer! She said what she's been doing is complicated to explain, that it has something to do with synching up her arms and her lower body. I found this clip that HoundDog uploaded to YouTube a couple of years ago which actually addresses this very problem. It might help you to understand how Morgan has managed to gain some distance, just in case you're curious:



Ironically, he cut the clip off just as Terry Gannon was asking what Morgan could do to gain more yardage. I guess she figured it out! One thing I noticed during the broadcast is that Morgan seems to be moving her head less than she did in this video; I assume this is because her arms aren't so far behind her now. I'll be interested to see some good footage of her current swing taken from a face-on view, just to see how much her hand and arm position has changed.

At any rate, Morgan hit the 18th green with a driver and a hybrid on a wet fairway. I'm not sure she could have reached the green last year under any circumstances, yet on Saturday she landed her 2nd shot in almost the same spot as Lexi Thompson, who's averaging 36 yards longer off the tee this week.

Yes, I'm impressed... and I think this just may be Morgan's week. (But I won't bet on it. See, I'm a little short right now...)

2 comments:

  1. somebody needs to invent a way to play sounds on these pages that are timed to when you read the punch line. This one definitely needs a "bah-dum-bum". :-)

    Lexi hit 5-iron from 198 - Pressel hit...3 hybrid ? A couple of darn fine shots. Pressel's been working her little hiney off to get some extra distance. She mucked herself up a couple of years ago just trying to swing harder - now she's put in the work on her swing to just let good mechanics do the work.

    Been a big fan of Pressel's for 10 years now. She and Lexi have a lot in common - both are tough competitors with big hearts.

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  2. I agree. I'm a big fan of Morgan's, but Lexi really showed her stuff in this tournament. Too bad she's not in the Women's British next week.

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