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November 22, 2015

Cristie Kerr

Naples, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Hello, everyone. We would like to welcome in the 2015 CME Group Tour Championship winner, Cristie Kerr. I'm sure that sounds pretty good right about now.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, it does. Didn't seem like a whole lot was going my way early. All of a sudden at the end, I was there when I needed to be.
There's some great competitors out there. Ha Na was playing great. Gerina was bombing her shots out there and hitting her driver so long. She had a made of lot birdies coming in.
Everybody played good golf. I think this CME tournament is the winner.

Q. Some incredible putts, shots, the birdie putt on 17, unbelievable. Then 17, to make that eagle. Take me through some of those final few holes and what worked well.
CRISTIE KERR: On 15, I hit that iron shot solid. That pitching wedge, I just kind of stood up on it. I knew that I was leaving putts short and I knew I had to get it there. When it left my putter and it was going towards the hole, I've had so many that were in the heart of the hole that I left a foot short this week. It just kept going and I was like get there, get there, get there. It went in and I was like, this was the first bit of momentum I've had almost all day.
Then I played a great 17th and 18 th hole.
THE MODERATOR: All week long, we've been hearing about the youth movement. You see Lydia today win the million dollars. Inbee gets her final point needed at 27. At 38, you win your 18th career victory, you keep showing that age doesn't seem to matter if it's at the higher end either when it comes to winning out here on Tour.
CRISTIE KERR: I think good golf is just good golf. It doesn't really matter what age it is. I think I proved that. Again, I hope you are still asking me when I'm 45. Hopefully I'll still be winning tournaments. Good golf really doesn't know an age.

Q. How long was the putt on 15?
CRISTIE KERR: Five paces, 15feet, straight up the hill. I had to rap it to get it there.
I'm sorry, on 15? 15, that must have been 35feet. I don't know. I could go pace it off for you, if you want.

Q. The club into 17?

Q. How far?
CRISTIE KERR: I had 224 to the hole, 210 to carry that right side. I don't know, I just got the visual of threading the needle. If you pull it going into that green, you can down in the dip, that's not an easy up‑and‑down. If you hit it right, you could be against that wall in the bunker. I knew I needed a perfect shot at that time. I stayed there and made my practice swing until I felt the shot I wanted and then I pulled it off.

Q. 12feet?
CRISTIE KERR: I think 15, five paces. That's the hole I thought you were talking about.

Q. Big picture, obviously you want to be in the mix every week, you are extremely popular out here. How great are days like this for the Tour and for the game when there's a whole lot of people celebrating a whole lot of things?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it's huge. That's what makes this tournament so special as well, not only do you have a tournament winner, but you have two other people out there celebrating different things. Terry's group has done a great job with that.
It's pretty cool. It's a lot of different honors. That's what the year end is about. It feels pretty cool to win the last tournament of the year.

Q. We were surprised with what happened to the weather? Were you, as a player, surprised after the dreadful weather and poor forecast it turned beautiful?
CRISTIE KERR: I was incredibly surprised. The second hole I thought the green was going to go under water. I stood there because the rules official was coming up. I didn't know whether I should go or not. I thought the green could go underwater at any moment. You are trying to play a shot kind of with unplayable conditions. I waited until it let up a little bit and I was sure the green wouldn't go underwater. We weren't even behind them on the next hole. We were all hiding under the umbrellas. It was like a squall that came through.
The hole that I hit pitching wedge into, the 3rd hole, I hit 5‑wood into today. So that tells you how bad the weather was the second and third hole, and then literally when we got to the fourth hole and it cleared up. It was like every other day this week. And light winds. I've never played this tournament in light winds for the entire tournament. Very strange, but it worked out in our favor. I don't think anybody wanted to go to a Monday finish, so it worked out.

Q. I was wondering if you could elaborate a little bit more on some of the comments you were saying yesterday on mechanics and how it may have gone back to your junior golf days. Wondering if you kind of recaptured your youth a little bit?
CRISTIE KERR: I don't know about that. That might be a stretch. I'm getting on a new fitness program this offseason. Age is just a number. I think that I've proved that out here. You can win in your mid 30s. Hopefully I can win in my 40s, as well.
I love what I do. I love golf. Golf has given me great memories. I just love giving back to the game. I love helping people. I certainly love days like this. Hopefully I can keep doing that.

Q. In horse racing, horses that win in the mud are called mudders. Are you now the LPGA's greatest mudder? Do you like conditions like that that maximize the concentration and stuff like that?
CRISTIE KERR: My coach has always called me a mudder. Just because I think in tough conditions I tend to excel. But it just depends. It's easy to say that when you play well.

Q. What was it like to share that moment with your Solheim Cup teammates trying to get you after?
CRISTIE KERR: Pretty cool. That was sort of like an automatic response for me to run away from champagne being sprayed everywhere. It was amazing to have Morgan Pressel, probably one of my best friends, if not my best friend, out here to be there. She was actually finishing on nine when I was finishing. She said she was dying because she wanted to be there on the 18th green.
Paula Creamer and I have become quite close. Brittany Lange was there. Obviously I played with Gerina. Gerina played amazing. There's a lot of good golf out there this week from everybody. It's great to have friends. I want to be there for them when that happens because I think that's really what it's about.
I think this was a huge day for American golf as well, having American winner win the TOUR Championship. Just happy to be able to share it with them.

Q. You are quite young, but you are a mother now. I'm just wondering at this stage in your life, being a mother and being a wife, multiple win season and capturing a TOUR Championship, it adds a different perspective. Talk about that perspective.
CRISTIE KERR: I think it does. I hope it inspires the women of our Tour to want to feel like they can have children and play out here. Our daycare, they do an amazing job. They take a lot of stress off of us on a weekly basis and allow us to do our job.
I think, as a women's organization, it's natural for us to be players and mothers. And I think this was a big day as well in that respect, to show that a mom can cannot only win on Tour but win multiple tournaments on Tour. There's a support structure in place enabling us to do that.

Q. From up close, how do you assess how Lydia has handled so much so fast happening in her world?
CRISTIE KERR: I don't think she's the age she is. She's such an old soul, it's all to believe she's that young. She's been winning tournaments since she was 13 or 14 out here. What is she 18 now? I'm over twice her age. That's crazy.
I mean, she just has such a great way about her. She doesn't seem to worry about much. I worry about everything, especially being a mom now. She just‑‑ I guess maybe that's youth. There's that saying youth is wasted on the young. They don't know what they have until they are my age, right. But she has such a great, easy disposition about her. She puts everybody around her at ease. I think she'll be that way for the rest of her life. I think that's just her personality and it's pretty cool to have gotten to know her over the years.

Q. As you mentioned bigger things, one of the things in the presentation, this Race has a part of it too is what is given to the Wounded Warrior project. Your eagle today on 17 helped donate another $5,000. $300,000 for the year. How special is it to have that as a portion of this very amazing event and a way to wrap up the season?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it's huge. It's a program the LPGA has supported for a long time. I think we can't thank the men and women of this country who go in service to protect us, especially in this day and age with everything going on around us. We have to do everything we can to say thank you and this is just a small part of it.
I'm just very happy that it's a part of not only this tournament but the Tour's initiatives.
THE MODERATOR: As you were saying earlier, now to win the final event in the year, is there something sweeter that comes with walking away from a season and saying let's see what we can do at the start of next year?
CRISTIE KERR: I think so. I have a lot of time to enjoy it this year. With Kia, I should have stayed and enjoyed the win. It was like ANA is next week. We have to play a practice round the next day.
This makes it even sweeter. I'm definitely going to stay and enjoy it and celebrate.

Q. I'm sure you would agree that every win is a good win. Is it extra special and could you put it into perspective to be the 70 best women in the world over a course of four days?
CRISTIE KERR: It's definitely pretty cool to win the Tour Championship, the final event of the year. I've never done that, so it's pretty special. Everybody has earned their way into this tournament. The CME Race is very special and a huge deal for our Tour. I'm honored to be their champion.

Q. How do you find the course at Tiburon? Except for the rain this morning, how do you like playing golf down here in Naples, not too far from where you were born?
CRISTIE KERR: I love Naples. I used to come over to the West Coast of Florida playing junior golf a lot. I love Tiburon. I think it's a great layout. The green conditions, sometimes it has to do with weather. I know they are always working to try to improve that.
But I can't complain. I didn't let anything bother me this week. I kept my head down and kept going. It's a great area to come and play golf. There's so many golf courses around that people can come play.

Q. When you first heard the proposal for CME points Race for the Globe, what were your thoughts? Has it turned out better than you expected?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it's better than I expected. It is a lot of money for one year‑end thing. I think if they were to look at changes for the future, I think that maybe half or a little over half could go to the winner. You are working the whole entire year to try to get in position to do that, but there's only one. I guess that's the point. If they were going to change it, I don't think anybody would complain about them paying out the Top‑10 or even a small portion of people that make it into the tournament.
Winner take all, that's what they wanted. That's what the LPGA needs at this moment. Like I said, it's a huge deal for us.

Q. The two girls that sprayed with champagne, who were they?
CRISTIE KERR: It was Paula and Lexi. Lexi was there as well. I think she tried to stay away from the champagne, getting sprayed. It was great to have Lexi there, one of my amazing Solheim partners. She played great as well. It's all such a blur now, just returning around the green. Super happy to have Lexi there as well. I just now remember seeing her. It's crazy the emotions that fly around out there. Having your friends there is great.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, congratulations. What a year.

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