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April 15, 2017

Cristie Kerr

Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Cristie Kerr, your 2017 Lotte Championship champion.

Cristie, 20-under. That's a new tournament scoring record. What a week for you.

Can you just talk to me about how this one feels.

CRISTIE KERR: It feels amazing. You know, on Friday morning I wasn't playing too well, and then I just found something and was able to turn it on and I just kept going.

I mean, I can't remember in two and a half days, you know, of that day and a half that I had struggled a little with my swing feel that I had made so many birdies in my life. Like it was an unbelievable run.

THE MODERATOR: You talked a little bit about having overcome so much in the off-season. What kind of things were going on that you have overcome to now be holding another trophy?

CRISTIE KERR: I had knee surgery the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. You know, four or five days after the surgery I had some complications with a cyst busting, rupturing in the back of my knee and I was on crutches for over three weeks when I should've been on crutches for four or five days.

Coming back the recovery was really, really slow. My God, the people at Center For Athletic Performance and Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, Arizona, they have helped me to find my focus with my training again and my physical therapy, and without them I don't know if I would be standing here today. So thank you Tom and Averill and Dave and everybody over there.

So overcoming that, and so first ball I hit was eight weeks after surgery and it was supposed to be half that. I didn't get to play in the Bahamas, and Thailand and Singapore I had flashes of some good rounds. You know, at ANA and in Thailand, playing, you know, 30 holes and then 53 holes, some absurd number in Thailand. Like I had no idea how my knee was going to hold up.

Feels so good to have overcome so many things to be sitting here. I played great the last couple weeks coming into here, and I just have a different perspective on life now. I felt it on the golf course today. I was able to keep going forward because I didn't put that extra pressure on myself.

Yeah, you always feel tension, you feel pressure, you feel nerves, but I was enjoying being in the moment and relishing the fact that I had the opportunity to go forward.

I didn't put that extra pressure on myself.

So it was a huge difference for me, and I'm just so pleased with everything. It's great to get my first win with Brady. Awesome.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations again. Open it up to questions.

Q. Curious what it feels like to play with so many people that could be your kids age-wise?
CRISTIE KERR: You know what, Sergio Garcia just won the Masters, nobody talked about his age, so I think we need to stop talking about age out here, shall we? (Applause.)

Yeah. That's all I have to say about that.

Q. Having said that, what do you have over them that allows you to do what you did today?
CRISTIE KERR: I mean, experience is huge. Very few players are lucky enough like I am to have a career as long as I've had and be competitive as long as I've been competitive. Having that experience and being competitive, it's an advantage, I think.

I think I was able to, when I felt like I didn't have it on the first four our five holes, I didn't worry, I didn't rush, and soon as I made my first birdie it was kind of like off to the races.

So experience definitely helps.

Q. You alluded to your last couple performances. Did you feel like coming into the week a breakthrough was on its way?
CRISTIE KERR: I felt like it was coming for sure, and I don't want to just stop it now. I have to set all new goals now, right? I'm just going to enjoy the moment.

Yeah, definitely felt like the things I was working with -- I didn't mention my coach, Michael Hunt, in the victory speech, but he's very much on my mind right now, and I'm so thankful to be working with him, recently a Top 100 teacher in the world.

So there is -- I forgot the question. It's an amazing victory, and, yeah, felt like it was coming. There is no reason it can't continue.

Q. You played here every year this tournament; top 10 three times before this one. In addition to your experience in general, experience on this course specifically help you, too?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I think so. I mean, what a beautiful week of weather we had, right? Usually it's so windy your eyelashes are bending back into your face. That's how windy it gets here.

I've always loved the golf course. I grew up on grass like this in Miami with the grain. I've always loved coming here and looking at the ocean. I didn't even think about it until after I shot 10-under that turtles are really good luck for me, they always have been, and I went swimming with the turtles on Friday afternoon.

I inadvertently touched one. The patrols are out there so that you don't harm them, but it kind of swam at me and I like touched it, and it was really, really good luck.

So not only are ladybugs good luck for me, but so are turtles. Pretty cool.

Q. How does your game prepare for when like you get a rain out and you're sitting and there is a lull?
CRISTIE KERR: I mean, you just do it. Luckily it's hot here so you don't get stiff, you don't get cold. You just have to take a lot of swings when you get out there and kind of make believe like there wasn't a break. You have to just keep going.

Q. When you get to that point when you're walking in (indiscernible) the way you do, do you even know that's happening?
CRISTIE KERR: Oh, yeah. People think that I do it intentionally. I mean, it never happens when I try to do it intentionally. It's just that once I know it's in, I just walk after it. I've always done that my whole life. It's not a bad thing to have, especially in match play.

Q. Any advice for people that putt like normal people, how they can get to that zone and get that feeling going?
CRISTIE KERR: I'm not a teacher so I wouldn't know what to tell them there, but it is fun making putts.

Q. You talked about just focusing on yourself. About midway when the tournament is tied you get into a match-play type of situation there?
CRISTIE KERR: I mean, felt like maybe for a hole out there. I knew if I was going to have a chance to win this tournament I had to do that. I had to zone everything out and really just be really selfish with my golf and what I was doing.

I played my best golf from that point. It doesn't really do you any good to worry about anybody else. It's so easy to focus on everybody else, but when you're doing that you're not focusing on yourself. I feel like if I didn't to that I wouldn't have played as well.

This is the place that I play well from, and even having won I'm going to learn a lot from this week.

Q. I hesitate to ask this, but I'm looking at it as something that is possible. Do you think about Hall of Fame, because you're a step closer no after today?
CRISTIE KERR: Yea, I've always thought about it. I mean, I've come this far and I don't plan on quitting golf any time soon. Why not? Sky is the limit. If you shoot for the stars you may get to the moon. That's the old saying. Why not? With my son, I would hope when he has high dreams and aspirations I never tell him he can't do it.

This is actually my first win on tour without my husband or my son around. Obviously my son is just three and a half, but I've always won with them around. This is the first win without them here. Physically anyway.

Q. Do you have any tips for junior golfers?
CRISTIE KERR: In what respect? Putting? Hitting? Chipping?

Q. Putting.
CRISTIE KERR: Putting? I think it's hard because you want to be able to see the specific junior.

You know, as I said in the clinic on Monday, I feel like, you know, don't be afraid of it going a little long or short when you're putting.

Just try to feel speed in your hands, and once you pick your line, just really feel the speed that you want, and then go and then just do it and not really worry about, oh, it's going to be short or going to be long. Just roll it with the right speed. That's the best advice I could give.

THE MODERATOR: All right, 19th career win; second American to win this year; second American to win this event.

Cristie, congratulations. (Applause.)

CRISTIE KERR: Thank you.

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