Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lincicome show signs of returning to form

Morgan Pressel hits a tee shot on the

Morgan Pressel hits a tee shot on the 18th hole at the Wegman's LPGA Golf Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Rochester. (June 7, 2013) (Credit: AP)

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- When Morgan Pressel signed her card after the first round of a major championship Friday, she turned to her friend and playing companion Brittany Lincicome and said, "That's a little better for the two of us. You know what I mean?"

What she meant was that Pressel, despite being one of the most popular and recognizable players in women's golf, is only 67th on the LPGA money list and has not won a tournament since 2008.

Lincicome, like Pressel a major champion and a hope for American prominence on the women's pro circuit, knew the feeling. She admitted that her confidence was so low entering the Wegmans LPGA Championship that she wrote "5" on her golf ball to remind her that she has won five pro tournaments and that she can, in fact, do this.

Both were encouraged Friday, with Pressel shooting 4-under-par 68 and Lincicome finishing only one stroke behind, each in good position in a delayed and soaked tournament. Chella Choi of South Korea held the first-round lead at 5 under despite having played in the afternoon, when it was raining.

It was enough to lift the spirits of Pressel, 25, and Lincicome, 27, who have faced each other since they were kids. "We certainly thrived off each other out there. She was making birdies and I was making birdies on a course where it didn't look like many people were," Pressel said after finishing with four birdies in a row.

Pressel became the youngest ever to win a women's major when she claimed the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18 -- only three years after she lost her mother to breast cancer. Pressel has yet to win another major and has won only one other event.

The past year involved getting through a wrist injury sustained when she tried hitting out of the thick rough at this event. "It took a while to really want to play golf again and enjoy playing golf again," she said. "And I feel like I'm in a better place."

Lincicome said, "I think it's the big ring on her finger."

Yes, Pressel acknowledged that her marriage to Andy Bush on Jan. 19 has contributed to her "better place."

As for her own game, Lincicome said she tried taking lessons earlier this year "and that backfired."

"I think I was trying to change too many things at one time, so I kind of stopped doing that," Lincicome said, adding that she took off last week to regroup. "I went fishing, I caught an 8-foot nerve shark, it was cool."

Hole-in-one for Tseng. Five-time major champion Yani Tseng, whose throat ailment was so bad earlier this week that she could not eat solid food, scored her first competitive hole-in-one with an 8-iron on the 150-yard 15th hole.

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