This is an article from the May 28, 2001 issue
Herb Krickstein says this happens to him all the time: Friends
will show him their newborn babies and jokingly ask, "Would you
start working with him?" Krickstein smiles and says, "At least I
think they're joking."
Krickstein can never be sure. Eighteen years ago his 16-year-old
son, Aaron, electrified the tennis world by beating Vitus
Gerulaitis in the third round of the 1983 U.S. Open. A month
later Aaron won a tournament in Tel Aviv to become the youngest
singles champion ever on the ATP Tour, and he went on to win
eight other titles during an injury-filled career.
Today, Herb, 67, is guiding his granddaughter, Morgan Pressel,
toward stardom in a different sport. On May 14, nine days before
her 13th birthday, Morgan became the youngest player to earn a
berth at the U.S. Women's Open since sectional qualifying began
in 1976. She shot a two-under-par 70 at Bear Lakes Country Club
in West Palm Beach, Fla., the low score in a field of 107, to
qualify for next week's Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
in Southern Pines, N.C.
"What my dad has done is pretty amazing," says Aaron Krickstein,
Morgan's uncle, who caddied for his niece during her historic
round. "To do it in different generations with different sports
and different sexes--how many people can do that?"
Krickstein's secret? Good genes help. Before graduating from
medical school at Michigan and becoming a pathologist, Herb was a
top American Legion baseball player and won a Michigan high
school doubles title in tennis. His three daughters were also
fine athletes. Kathy (Morgan's mom) won the '78 Big Ten tennis
championship at Michigan. "I'm not some Svengali-like genius,"
says Herb, an 11 handicapper in golf. "I'm lucky to have a couple
of unusual talents in our family. But I'm not going to kid
you--this takes a lot of dedication."
When the Pressels moved to Boca Raton five years ago, Morgan's
grandfather introduced her to golf, and she fell in love with the
game. "You don't have to run in golf," says Morgan. "My mom will
tell you I'm not that fast."
At 5'3" and 110 pounds, Morgan, the eldest of three siblings,
bangs out 240-yard drives, and she has won three of her last four
junior tournaments, playing against 13- to 18-year-old girls.
Making the Open, though, is a milestone. "It's the culmination of
all the hard work, but in a way it's only the beginning," says
Herb, who still coaches Morgan but also has her taking lessons
with Martin Hall, the pro at Ibis Golf and Country Club in West
Krickstein, who coached Aaron before sending him to the Nick
Bollettieri Tennis Academy at age 16, admits he made mistakes
with his son, errors he says he will not repeat with Morgan, who
leads a normal life away from the golf course. She's about to
finish seventh grade at the public Omni Middle School and is a
member of the National Junior Honor Society and plays clarinet in
the band. "When Aaron went on tour, it was tougher than I
realized," Krickstein says. "He was literally a boy among men.
Golf is a more genteel sport. It's basically you, the ball and
What advice does Krickstein have for parents who think their
child is the next Tiger Woods? "Study the game and understand
your children," he says. "Keeping them focused and interested
without pushing too hard is a fine line, but I don't think
there's a child out there who doesn't need some parental push."
Sergio Garcia would be wise to ignore the so-called experts
counseling him to make changes in his swing. No, Garcia's form
isn't flawless, but neither is Jack Nicklaus's, Arnold Palmer's
or Lee Trevino's. Garcia demonstrated at the Colonial--as he did
at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah--that with his heart, his
swing is plenty good enough.
What do these players have in common?
They're the only men to win the Colonial and the U.S. Open in the
same year. Hogan did it in 1953, Bolt in '58 and Boros in '63.
How would you rate Lanny Wadkins's work?
--Based on 989 responses to our informal survey
Next question: Would you like to see Bill Clinton become a
member of your club? Vote at golfplus.cnnsi.com.
Synonyms for: Choke
Balata stuck in my throat, Big C, dogged it, el foldo, gagged,
gargled, Hoched, threw up on myself, took gas, took the pipe.
Of the 46 rookies on the PGA and LPGA tours, only one (Garrett
Willis) has won a tournament (Tucson Open). Here are the rookies
who would've been high enough on their respective money lists to
retain exempt status had the season ended last week.
PGA STARTS FINISH RANK
Garrett Willis 16 1st 39
Geoff Ogilvy 11 2nd 51
Kaname Yokoo 14 7th 87
M.A. Jimenez 9 10th 100
P. Meunier-Lebouc 4 6th 65
Hee-Won Han 8 10th 74
Becky Morgan 4 7th 84
Michelle Ellis 11 17th 90