STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. (April 4, 2006) -- In 2005 she enjoyed one of the best performances in women's amateur golf in recent memory. And now Morgan Pressel has been rewarded for that remarkably high level of achievement as the recipient of the seventh annual Nancy Lopez Award.
Named after one of the greatest and most respected women golfers in history, the Award is presented annually to the world's most outstanding female amateur. Previous winners have included Kellee Booth in 2000, followed by Aree Song, Meredith Duncan, Lorena Ochoa, Virada Nirapathpongporn and, last year, Paula Creamer.
The Award is a key facet of the long-time relationship between Nancy Lopez and the Atlanta Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez. As the event's official host, Lopez will present the Award to Pressel at a gala banquet to be held Thursday night (April 20) of tournament week. Along with the Award comes a sponsor invitation to compete in the tournament. As she is now an LPGA member, Pressel will not need the invitation to participate.
The talented Florida native enjoyed a remarkable 2005 that was highlighted by a win at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Ansley Golf Club Settindown Creek in Metro Atlanta. Equally impressive was a second place tie at the U.S. Women's Open where she was tied for the lead playing the final hole. Throughout most of 2005 she was both the top ranked woman and junior amateur in the GolfWeek ratings. She was eligible to play in five American Junior Golf Association events last year and won them all. She also won her third consecutive Florida High School title. She also represented the U.S. on the PING Junior Solheim Cup team.
"I am thrilled to learn that I have been selected as the winner of the Nancy Lopez Award as the world's most outstanding amateur female golfer for 2005," said Pressel. "My time in amateur golf has always been very exciting and rewarding, especially because of the American Junior Golf Association and other junior events, as well as many fine Women's Amateur Tournaments. I know my victory at the 2005 United States Women's Amateur will always remain a highlight of my career in golf. Nancy Lopez has always been a role model for me because of her great talent, courage, friendliness, humility, and life style. To be like Nancy, an outstanding worldwide ambassador for the game of golf, is my greatest ambition."
Pressel was selected from a list of ten extraordinarily talented and distinguished international amateur candidates. The Nancy Lopez Award Executive Committee which chaired the award consists of Chairman Mike Waldron (Executive Director of the Georgia State Golf Association), Judy Bell (Past President of the United States Golf Association), Nancy Lopez (LPGA Hall of Fame Member), Betsy Rawls (LPGA Hall of Fame Member), Mickey Walker (Former Captain European Solheim Cup Team) and J.T. Williams (President, Metro South Golf Charities).The Executive Committee selected approximately 100 international golf industry experts who compiled the list of candidates. The committee members and industry experts participated in the voting.
"Having my name associated with this prestigious Award and with the tournament is a huge honor for me," said Ms. Lopez. "I have wonderful memories of competing in amateur golf. Morgan is a very remarkable young woman to have accomplished so much at her age. I'm sure she will enjoy a long and successful LPGA career."
Now in its 15th year, the Atlanta Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez has been played each year at Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Georgia. The world's top ranked player, Annika Sorenstam, will defend her title that she won by 10 shots.
Proceeds from the Atlanta Charity Championship benefit the Henry Medical Center; Dayton, Ohio-based AIM for the Handicapped, the favorite charity of Nancy Lopez; and the East Lake Foundation.
Marshall & Associates
Atlanta Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez