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June 11, 2015

Cristie Kerr


KELLY SCHULTZ: Good afternoon, everyone. We would like to welcome Cristie Kerr into the interview room. Great 3-under par 70. You were talking earlier this week about how you loved this golf course and certainly looked like it today. What was working well in your game out there?

CRISTIE KERR: The front nine I had a bunch of chances and a couple putts lipped-out, and I just tried to stay patient and got off to a great start on the back nine. Made kind of a longer putt on No. 10 and then a great save on the next hole and then just kind of got some momentum. You know, 3-under, had a couple putts lip out, but I made a couple great saves, as well. Like on the par 3, 16, hit it way right of the green, flopped it up there and made about a 12 -- at least a 12-footer for par. You know, went on to birdie the next hole so kind of kept the momentum going today.

KELLY SCHULTZ: There's a lot of people up there at 3-under par, haven't seen anybody go really low. Is that kind of what you expected out there on the golf course in terms of scores?

CRISTIE KERR: I think so. I think this afternoon somebody could shoot a bit lower. The greens are just so pure here that even if you have a 30-footer, you have a chance to make it. And it's a hard golf course but it's fair. It's right in front of you, and you know the shots that you can be aggressive with and you know the shots that you can't. So I think the course kind of forces your hand in that respect a little bit. But yeah, I love this course.

KELLY SCHULTZ: You played well last week I know right to the end, not quite the finish you wanted, but did you feel like everything in your golf game was coming together and did you see that out there today?

CRISTIE KERR: I did. I just kind of got the hooks coming in down the stretch. Last week, which was unfortunate, because it was really only a couple bad shots I hit all week; and on that kind of golf course with people making so many birdies, you have to try to birdie every hole. It's not like that this week. If you make a bad swing and a great par, you feel like you're still going forward. So that's what I did today, especially on No. 16.

Q. Can you just talk about how the greens were today? A lot of the players yesterday were saying that they were a little softer than they expected because of the rain we had two nights ago. Did they speed up at all today or was it still a little soft?
CRISTIE KERR: You know, the practice round, when I played yesterday, maybe I'm just the anomaly. I thought they were firmer than when I played the Pro-Am in the morning on Tuesday. I thought they were pretty consistent today to how they were yesterday. I mean, they do such a great job, the grounds staff here. They can make this golf course as firm as they want or as soft as they want, as hard or as easy. I thought they kept it about the same. There were some putts out there that kind of got away from me a little bit. I think maybe the speed of the greens were just a little bit more.

Q. A lot of uphill approach shots to difficult greens here. Do you think that the PGA and the LPGA got their setup right in their first go at it?
CRISTIE KERR: I think so, yeah. There's definitely some challenging long irons off of downhill lies into uphill greens. But as I said, it's right in front of you. You have to play good go of to shoot under par here. I think they did a great job with the setup. I think it would be interesting if they decided at some point during the make to make -- what hole is that where they made four or five -- 15; if they decided to move the tee up and make a four. I don't know if they have plans to do that or not but they have some leeway to move things around. It would be a heck of a par 4 even if they did move it up.

KELLY SCHULTZ: We've talked all week about the elevation. Did it feel even different when you teed it up out there today? Major championships always have that feel to it but when you were out there on the first tee this morning, did you feel that energy?

CRISTIE KERR: Definitely, definitely feels like a major. It is a major in every way. I always think it's interesting when you start a golf course out with a par 3. Some of the best courses in the world do that, like Lytham and St. Annes. I think the long par 3 on starts that course. Some of the greatest courses are par 3s to start off. So it was interesting that they brought a little bit of that old-school kind of here to New York, and it's not like just driver down the middle of the fairway. You have to place your shot on the first shot of the tournament. I think that's kind of cool.

Q. That 15th hole was a debate between the members and the tournament officials setting it up. Would you rather almost see that being that this is a major play as a long, difficult par 4?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I mean, I think they made the right decision just because on the front side there's so many long, difficult par 4s that they wanted some excitement and they wanted -- you know, we don't carry the ball 300 yards in the air high like the men do. So having to hit it over the trees there, to such a smaller area over those trees, and then to that green, which is one of the more slopey greens on the golf course; for us, I think they made the right decision. But then again, it's the same for everybody however they decide to play it. So it's fun to see some eagles coming down the stretch like Brittany Lincicome had an eagle in our group today. But it's also a great birdie hole, as well.

Q. Your whole group had it going. Is it more fun to play when everybody is kind of on the same level and making birdies?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, definitely, and we are all friends and Solheim Cup team members. Yeah, it was very light out there. It was a good group to be in I think because the mood was very light. It wasn't so serious that you're grinding a ton. That was good.

KELLY SCHULTZ: This is almost a home event for you. Did you have a big group out there today? Are you expecting big groups of friends and family out there?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, we had some people out today, my husband, my brother and a couple other people out for us. I just keep expecting -- the crowds were good today but I expect to see them grow more every day. It's still a working crowd. A lot of people live in this area go to work on Wall Street and take the train in, etc. So I think it will be a lot bigger tomorrow and then on the weekend, I think the crowds will be huge.

Q. You've been an amazingly consistent winner for a long time now, 15, 16 years. Does that fire still burn in you?
CRISTIE KERR: It does. It does. And I don't know, I mean, Juli has always been my idol in that respect, Juli Inkster, and she's still a grinder. She still loves to practice and compete. I'm the same way. I mean, it would be hard to imagine like -- it's just fun. It is hard. There are some really tough days and there's some really rewarding days. It's always that unattainable chase that you look forward to trying to get every day, for me, at least.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Cristie, best of luck the rest of this week.
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