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April 4, 2019

Cristie Kerr

Rancho Mirage, California

Q. A lot of changes. We were just talking about the tucked pins. How tough was it playing today?
CRISTIE KERR: It played really tough. I hit the ball great. I missed two 5-irons today, and other than that I played perfectly.

Yeah, I mean, we were talking about that pin on 17. It's usually front. We've never seen it tucked on the right side that much. You miss the green it's just super awkward.

Q. Karen Stuples was bragging about your driver. She said everything just sounded so solid. How important is that golf club this week?
CRISTIE KERR: It's very important. You know, even the 18th hole I hit a 5-wood off the tee, because if you miss it in the rough the rough is way less worse than it is further up.

You have to also have strategy, but you also have to -- I mean, jeez, we have so many long par 4s now. Yeah, you just have to play this golf course well.

Q. Both kids are here then?

Q. They don't get out as much anymore though, right?
CRISTIE KERR: Where did they go? They went to Florida this year. Probably go to about six events. Here, they've been out to -- obviously we live in Phoenix, so Kia and ANA, here, and then Kingsmill and the Open. Maybe Hazeltine. We'll see. We have a lot of help.

Q. Is that a nice distraction when you go home?
CRISTIE KERR: It is, it is. But sometimes you need to be able to have your own space and kind of wind down from golf, too.

So like I told you earlier in the week, it's the off-the-golf-course stuff I have to manage better. So far this week I've done that.

Q. Was last year a learning year, and what did you learn?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, actually, he was born in August. Yeah. It was like an anxiety-when-is-the-baby-going-to-come year. But, yeah, I mean, the weeks that they are out we're just going to have a lot of help. One has to get fed and the other has to get bathed and then put one to bed and the other one you're managing changing diapers.

Just have to have a lot of help when they're out.

Q. And then just how would you sum up today?
CRISTIE KERR: I played great. I honestly played great. I felt loose out there. Was a little tentative into the iron on 13. Hit it in kind of a bad spot. Got a little long on my swing on 17 with the 5-iron. Apparently I'm going to be hitting some 5-irons on the range.

Besides that I played great. Honestly I hit the ball great, hit my driver great, and I felt loose out there. For me, I feel like at this stage of my career people are like, Well, how could you not be loose? Golf is a tough game. You still have to manage things.

Try manage my off-the-course stuff and my mental game and let my nature talent come out. That's kind of what I did today.

Q. How much more challenging were these conditions today than maybe the last few years?
CRISTIE KERR: You know, the rough is really bad this year. It's not even windy and 2- and 3-under are leading this golf tournament. I think that's a testament to how great this golf courses is.

I think it's one of the best ones, if not the best one, that we play on tour. Every player looks forward to coming back to play this golf course. Even when the conditions are tough this place is great.

Q. Was the wind laid down all day for you?
CRISTIE KERR: It wasn't real strong. You know, it was very swirly on the 18th hole. I was telling Lisa that my gap wedge flies 110 max in this temperature and that was like morning. Kind of rolled some balls like left and short of the pin on 18, and he said they could have come back in the water. We have 110 to the pin, it's a crosswind, and you just can't lay off of it. I just happened to flush it and got a downwind gust. Swirled around on 18.

You still rather take 20 feet behind the hole for birdie instead of coming up short. You just got to have right time, right place sometimes.

Q. Tell us what your motivation is now -- I don't want to say...
CRISTIE KERR: You know, let's just call it the mid-point in my career. It's not the end of my career by a long shot. Everybody knows that. I don't think I have to prove that to anybody.

I still want to be in contention and win golf tournaments and maybe sneak another major in there. I got to go step by step, build my game up again, and that's what I've been doing since October of last year with Bryan Lebedevitch. He lives in the desert here. He'll be out every day.

Just got to manage my other stuff. If I feel like I did today, I will play well.

Q. What would you say last year sort of forced you to do? Were you focused? How would you describe it?
CRISTIE KERR: I feel like there were a lot of distractions last year and my golf swing got really off and I lost the width in my golf swing. Became armsy and narrow and not consistent at all.

Since October I've been rebuilding my golf swing to the point where under pressure conditions like these it can hold up. I mean, everybody is going to hit a bad shot every now and then, but I'm starting to see the work that I've put in come out. It's coming out.

So just got to keep believing in that and keep trusting that and just got to keep going. It's not like I've never won a golf tournament or a major. I feel like if I put myself in that position, just got to get to that place where it's right time, right place and it's the stage and then you can go from there. I don't want to jump the gun. You got to go day by day here and just play the golf course.

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