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March 29, 2015

Cristie Kerr


THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I'd like to welcome the 2015 Kia Classic winner, Cristie Kerr into the interview room.  Cristie, how does it feel to hear those words?
CRISTIE KERR:  Pretty amazing.  It never gets old.  Just seemed like there were a lot of really meant‑to‑be, fate things that happened this week and it's just so surreal right now.
THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned the meant‑to‑be, fate things this week.  You looked really motivated out there, especially today.  You caught fire on the front nine, didn't really look back except for that bogey on 12.  Can you tell us about the round a little bit.
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah.  You know, starting to the fifth hole, you know, the first couple‑‑ first couple holes I just made really great pars and just hung in there, actually the first three holes I did that, and you know, I said to Gregor, my caddie on 5, come on, you know, here we begin.
And you know, I made a lot of birdies on the front after that, even, you know, even not birdieing the 8th hole, I still did great on the front and just gutted out a terrific birdie on 10.  Bogeys are going to happen, and I mean the momentum I got after that was just so huge, birdieing 13, 14, 15 and 16, you know, and the last two holes they played tough.
So I was there mentally on every shot, even the putt that I left short on 18.  It's just that's such a tough green.  I've three‑putted the last couple of days, and I guess there's always something to look forward to for next year, but played great.
THE MODERATOR:  And walking off this course you had something to look forward to.  This is your first win as a mom, 17 career LPGA wins now.  What did it mean to have Mason running out at you after you came off that green.
CRISTIE KERR:  It was so surreal.  Again, I use the word surreal, but it was so surreal, I was kind of like play hadn't been done yet.  I didn't know‑‑ I mean I thought I was leading but sometimes real‑time scoring or the leaderboards might not be updated, so I didn't really know exactly where I was, but I could just tell by everybody's reaction that I had won.
It was amazing having him there, and he just gave me a big smile and a squeak.  He's screaming now.  That's his thing, and I always hoped this day would come and now it has, and just so proud.
THE MODERATOR:  You had another fan out there, Morgan Pressel, fellow LPGA player.  Morgan tied the course record today‑‑ oh I'm sorry, in the second round.  You won today.  You guys are sharing a house together this week, aren't you.
THE MODERATOR:  What were you guys having for dinner this week?  What got into you.
CRISTIE KERR:  Wine.  (Laughs).  No, I'm kidding.  Well, we like our fine‑‑ we drink very nice wine, and she's been my best friend out here for a very long time, and she's always there for me, and I always try to be there for her, and she didn't have to stay, but she did.  And it was great to see her.  I was shocked that‑‑ I mean I was just so into my game all day that I didn't realize who would still be here, even the medical staff, you know, top tier medical staff, Curtis and Chris were there at the end, and they were supposed to leave, too.
And you know, they're also one of the main reasons why I was even able to play last week, because I tweaked my back a little bit lifting the baby.  It was probably not a good thing to do, but they really helped me out a lot, all the time, but I wouldn't have been able to play Phoenix if it wasn't for Curtis and for Chris and the medical staff.  And even helping me maintain and staying strong this week.  So just really grateful that we have such a great medical staff.
THE MODERATOR:  Well, let's open it up for questions for Cristie.

Q.  Cristie, with all that you've gone through over the last couple of years since your last win, everything involved with getting a family started and now having Mason here, does that make it particularly satisfying what you achieved today?
CRISTIE KERR:  Hugely.  You know, I think I‑‑ when I got in contention last year, I thought about winning a little too much, wanting him to be on the green, but you know, everything happens for a reason, and last year he couldn't have run out to meet me.  So maybe that was fate, too.  But it was just huge.
You know, my family has always been there for me and hugely supportive and my mom and my dad that are in Miami, and I'm just really‑‑ it's so surreal right now.

Q.  I have another one for you about this course in particular.  You've had four Top 5 finishes at the Kia Classic, three at Aviara.  What is it about this course that you like so much?
CRISTIE KERR:  I think it's demanding, and you really have to be mentally present and have control of your game for four days to win here, and I'd always played three out of four days well before and hence the Top 5 finishes, but today really put me over the edge.
And I don't know, Gregor and I, my caddie and I really felt like there was something special going on.  He lost his father last week and couldn't caddie for me in Phoenix.  I had a friend, Ryan Dillon, who is a professional golfer, caddie for me and stepped in and helped me out there.  Just felt like it was meant to be, our first win together, even our first Top 10 together really.
I mean we just fell in stride and the team that we are is pretty amazing in such a short period of time.

Q.  Cristie, did you ever lose any belief in yourself last year with all the close finishes?  You've always struck me as a strong self‑believer.  So coming off of last season, what was the reflection of what that season was like?
CRISTIE KERR:  You know, I thought it was a decent season, but one and the same time that I wasn't happy with.  You know, I mean I came in second in Canada.  Inbee had a career‑low round 10‑under and I shot 8‑under and I thought I was going to be right there walking on the 18th tee and I was two back and was surprised.  So it was kind of a good year as far as all the Top 10 finishes.  But you know, I always like to win, and you know, you use a marker for your season with winning.  I do.  So that gave me extra motivation for this year, and I took a hard look at the things that I had to work on and improve, and I recently switched coaches a couple weeks ago.  So back to somebody I used to work with for nine years.
So you know, I said I gotta do what I have to do to improve again, because the play out here is so strong and our tour is so deep with who can win now that if I don't‑‑ it's not okay to just think you're going to stay where you are and win.  You have to try to get better again, and that's what I've tried to do.

Q.  Have your priorities changed at all as far as what you've focused on with your swing or whatever or golf in general now that you have a family and maybe you don't have as much practice time or have to allocate things differently?
CRISTIE KERR:  Actually I'm‑‑ actually, that's not true because we hire great help.  You know, our nanny actually left yesterday because she's getting married on Friday.  So we have great help, and that lets me do my job and put in the time that I need to do my job, and my husband Erik is my biggest fan and supporter.  I've just got a great support structure around me, which I know that I have to take care of my job and that means practicing as much as I need to, and then I get to see them, you know, in the evening.  I mean that's kind of how it is whether you're a male professional golfer or a female professional golfer.
So you know, golf has always been a big part of our life, so I try to give it the time it deserves.

Q.  What did it feel like out there today once things got rolling?  Was it a little bit of a zone‑ish feeling with how well you were striking the ball?
CRISTIE KERR:  100 percent, yeah.  100 percent, yeah.  And I've played enough golf and I've been aren't long enough to know that I was in there and that I was comfortable being in there.
Just mentally I was so great, this whole week, even when I three‑putted one or, you know, whatever, hit a bad shot or got distracted a little bit, I just‑‑ I always bounced back this week, and that's huge for momentum and it's huge for, you know‑‑ nothing has to go perfectly for you to win, and that's what I proved to myself this week.
So I hope that answers your question.

Q.  So Cristie, you leave here with a new K900 and this trophy.  Heading to the first major of the year, how confident do you feel heading into next week now?
CRISTIE KERR:  I feel obviously very confident.  I am so happy that my caddie and I got a win early on the board together.  You know, his father passing away last week, I mean it just shows you life is really short and you have to seize the moment when you can, and I really just felt extra motivation to play for us and also reflecting back to what I'm grateful for and have in my life.
I just tried to play as many shots without interference as possible this week, and I did great.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Cristie?  If not, congratulations, Cristie, on a great win.
CRISTIE KERR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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