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Morgan Pressel signs deal with Callaway

Teenager Morgan Pressel is experiencing the perks of being a pro.

Pressel signed a multi-year contract to play with and endorse equipment made by the Callaway Golf Company, one day after being allowed to compete full-time on the LPGA Tour.

The U.S. Amateur champion who also made her mark on the pro ranks in 2005, Pressel will endorse Callaway Golf woods, irons, wedges, golf balls and licensed Callaway Golf footwear. The 17-year-old will use a Callaway Golf bag and wear the company's logo on her visor.

"I am really proud to be associated with Callaway Golf," said Pressel, who already was using some Callaway equipment before turning pro last month. "I truly believe Callaway Golf is the best golf equipment company to help me become a better golfer and reach my goal of becoming No. 1 in the world."

Pressel joins Annika Sorenstam, the top women's player in the world who also has an endorsement deal with Callaway.

"To be on the same team with Annika Sorenstam, the best player in the world, is a great thrill, and I know she would never settle for anything that wasn't the best," Pressel said.

Pressel will be just as visible as Sorenstam in 2006 after receiving clearance to join the LPGA Tour as a full-time player from commissioner Carolyn Bivens, who waived the rule preventing girls not yet 18 from becoming regular tour members.

Pressel originally was told that she could not play as a tour member until her 18th birthday May 23. However, the matter was revisited after Pressel's performance at Qualifying School, where she finished tied for sixth.

The LPGA has a minimum age of 18, although any player at least 15 may ask for an exception. Pressel is eligible to play as a full member when the season begins February 16 at the SBS Open in Hawaii.

Everyone should be impressed with Pressel, who finished tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open. She competed in seven LPGA events in 2005, finishing in the top 25 in each. Had she been a professional, she would have earned more than $400,000 and placed 32nd on the LPGA money list.

"Becoming a full-time member of the LPGA is a dream come true," Pressel said. "I am thrilled that commissioner Bivens has granted me special permission and I can't wait for the season to start."

December 21, 2005

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