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August 13, 2006

Cristie Kerr


DANA GROSS RHODE: Cristie, congratulations. This is your second win. You just completed the biggest comeback of the season with an 8 stroke comeback. Talk about your round, 7 under par.

CRISTIE KERR: Unbelievable. I still I feel like I played great but I still can't believe I won. It was just a magical day. From the first tee shot, I hit my tee shot really solid. It went in the rough, made a great up and down on 1. And my par save on 3 was great.

And then from there I just seemed to get on a little bit of a roll and was able to keep the momentum going. And miraculously more putts didn't go in because there were a lot that were close to going in. It clearly was my day. I'm very thankful for that.

DANA GROSS RHODE: We'll take questions.

Q. Starting the day eight shots behind, what was your mindset on the first tee? And did you think you had a chance to catch Angela the way she was playing?

CRISTIE KERR: I knew I had an outside chance. And I know from winning tournaments and being on tour for ten years and getting the feel of how things go it's really never easy playing with the lead unless you've won multiple, multiple, multiple tournaments. And I just knew that I would have to, no matter what anybody else did, I would have to shoot a low round to even come close to having a chance to win the tournament.

You know, like I said, I still can't believe it. I played my heart out today. Even more impressive I think was, you know, after the ball striking day I had yesterday, to be able to have the guts to follow it up with this round, I'm very proud of myself. And I'm amazed at what I did today.

Q. Angela seems like a perfectly nice person and yet you've done this to her twice this year. What are your thoughts?

CRISTIE KERR: I think it was just bad timing. I like Angela. She's a fellow Solheim Cup team member of mine and I have great respect for her. I think she's a great player. She's going to win oodles of more tournaments. She's very, very talented and she's gotten very, very close. She's won before. She almost one the U.S. Women's Open a few years ago when it was at Pumpkin Ridge. I've been in the same situation and it takes time and time again of getting there and not quite getting there, and getting there and finally then it does happen and then you do win more and more tournaments.

I can just say that I think she played great this week, and clearly with the events that happened today, it was my week.

Q. Could you tell us what thoughts were going through your mind as she stood over that second to last putt of the tournament?

CRISTIE KERR: I was on the range and my caddie actually said that she had left her we were tied and she had left her first putt 10 or 12 feet short. He said, you can basically tell from the reaction of the crowd whether it went in or not. It still didn't hit me that I had won the tournament until everybody started rushing over to the range to congratulate me.

I feel for Angela. I've been in that position many times and it's a hard place to be, but I also think she's incredibly talented and she's going to win a lot of tournaments. I'm just thankful I came out on top today.

Q. On the 18th hole you had a birdie putt. At that point you were one back and it didn't quite go in for you. Did you think it wasn't going to be your day because that birdie putt didn't drop on 18?

CRISTIE KERR: No, I didn't think that. I knew 17 and 18 the pin positions were really tough. I hit a good putt on 18, I just I had it lined up perfectly and I thought, well, maybe it's not going to really break that much, so I moved it a tinge more to the right and it ended up being a little bit of an under read.

At that point I was one back. I thought I had to make that to get into a playoff. You know, I didn't when she bogeyed 17 I knew that with the pin on 18, unless she made a miraculous birdie, I was going to be in a playoff or maybe even win the tournament outright. It's amazing.

Q. Given what happened in Nashville, did you think she was vulnerable in a way that the lead wasn't insurmountable because of that?

CRISTIE KERR: I don't think it necessarily has to do with her. Again, it's difficult playing with a lead going into the last day. And no matter who it is, if you look at the statistics, it varies from person to person, but we've actually studied the statistics of whoever has held the lead after 54 holes what their percentage of winning is. So the odds are really not terribly in your favor.

Again, it's difficult with playing with the lead. I knew I was way back, that I would have to post a really low number to even have a chance to get in a playoff, let alone win the tournament outright. I never thought that would happen. So again, it just goes to prove you can try and control what you do and then everybody else will react to it.

Q. I asked Angela this when she was in here. I'll ask you the same thing. You've been around enough majors to know what they feel like, to know what the atmosphere is like. Did you get that sense?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. The crowds, the golf course, the sponsors, the condition of the course, how difficult the golf course played. I mean, I played a perfect round of golf today, and that's what it took. This is definitely, you know, a major in my mind. The purse is way up there. It's a major for me because I won, but this definitely I mean the crowds, and playing with Lorie Kane, what an accomplished athlete she is. I played with her the last two days and it was just such a pleasure to play with her. I have tremendous respect for her and what she's accomplished. She's an mazing person and she does a lot for the tour, so it was a pleasure to play with her. It's very serendipitous.

Q. Talk about rebounding this week after a disappointing finish last week.

CRISTIE KERR: I just knew I was playing well, and I knew that my confidence had been growing and growing and I just felt it was time for me to win again. In my heart I felt I was playing well enough to win. I played awful yesterday. I hit it bad. I told Jason, my caddie, I said, you know, at least I was mentally there. My physical game didn't show up.

I went and probably hit 100 balls after I played, stayed on the range until 7:15 in the evening yesterday and I worked it out. So mentally I was there yesterday, but my physical game wasn't there. I forgot the question.

Q. About the birdie.

CRISTIE KERR: I played great on Sunday there and lost my focus on the 16th hole. It started raining, you know. It had been a really long day and I just again, if I had birdied 18 there, I probably would have gotten into a playoff there. I hit a bad shot on the 18th hole and didn't take enough time, judging the lie of the bunker, and left it in the bunker. And those bunkers, you can be in there for a while.

So it's a tremendous feeling of accomplishment winning this week, especially, you know, following up with this week after the last two weeks. I've just played better and better every week.

Q. You had that great run of birdies, but I just wonder in your mind maybe just as important was the par save at 17?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. When you're trying to win a golf tournament it's really a game of inches, and every shot counts equally. So the par save at 1, the par save at 3, the par save at 17, those are as good as birdies. I was able to save par there and momentum in winning golf tournaments momentum is huge. If you can keep the momentum in your favor, you're going to win. So I was able to do that today.

Q. You alluded to this three or four questions back. You were around when the Canadian Open was a major. It lost a lot of steam. It lost sponsors. It was all but buried a year ago. And now it seems to be making a comeback. Can you speak to that whole issue as an LPGA member about where this has been and where it seems to be going?

CRISTIE KERR: It's definitely on the comeback. This was a tremendous venue. CN is a tremendous sponsor. And the fans and the crowd and the volunteers and the whole way everything was set up with the tents, it definitely feels like that.

You know what, I've always loved coming to Canada. I have a lot of great friends, some that live in Burlington, that came to watch me this week. I had a great time and I just think it is gaining momentum, more and more momentum to gaining back that status, I think. This week was a big step towards that.

Q. Angela said after her round there was a question of whether she has a killer instinct or drive to finish a tournament. She questioned that now. Do you have a sense that you are a closer, that you have that ability to sort of put a tournament away?

CRISTIE KERR: I do. But again, I think it's a learned behavior. I won my first tournament at Las Vegas. I had like a three shot lead with the back nine to go and ended up going a seven hole marathon playoff and it wasn't what anybody wanted. You know, people don't remember that though. People remember now, today. I think that's very much a learned behavior, and not getting down on yourself. And I've been there. It takes time. Winning is a learned behavior. You have to be able to learn from your mistakes and be a better golfer for it.

Q. When you realized you had won, you ran with this wonderful expression, you jumped up and embraced someone.

CRISTIE KERR: My fiance, Erik Stevenson. He's been with me for all my events but one, and we weren't together then, so it doesn't count. I just can't believe it. I can't believe it. It's been that kind of a day, from chunking a shot to going about thirty yards, to this. That's golf for you.

DANA GROSS RHODE: Thank you all for coming in. And congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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