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April 3, 2009

Cristie Kerr


Q. Just coming down the closing holes, trying to battle the wind, getting through that, how do you do it? What are you adjusting, if anything?
CRISTIE KERR: You just try and survive. Your golf swing doesn't matter. Putting doesn't matter. You've just got to try and see kind of what the shot is laid out for you, and then you've got to play the conditions. Whether you think -- I mean, on No. 8, the par 3, I had to aim 30 yards left, and the wind brought it in and I hit a great shot.
So you've just got to translate the conditions and survive, and I'm glad I'm done.

Q. Is this something you've come to expect at Mission Hills?
CRISTIE KERR: Every year that I've been out here, there are very few years where -- I would say one day, it kind of blows like this. You know, so I kind of knew last night that if I could get going on front nine and just hang in on the back, that's when the wind was supposed to come up and they have been pretty accurate as far as that goes.

Q. This year you seem to have those strong days where you make a move up the leaderboard; what's the difference for you this year, and how long before you seal the deal?
CRISTIE KERR: I think I'm getting more mature in learning how to handle myself better in these majors. I have a terrific caddie, John Killeen now, and we are heck of a team out there. He keeps me focused. He's very good with club selections and reading greens and knowing what to say at the right time and when to say it.
So we are a really good team and that's been the difference in my game since the end of last year and this year.

Q. Can you talk about another team member, Joe Parent? Can you tell us about the mental part?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, that's the part -- obviously I put a lot of work in on my physical game, but my mental game, I have committed myself to saying, you know what, if I want to get to the next level, this is part of what I need to do.
You know, I looked through six or seven people and finally met with him and talked with him and in a really peaceful, calming way. He's a Buddhist, which means the literal translation is awareness of being awake, awakeness. So he just teaches being aware of your feelings and how to manage your emotions and to really bring out the best of what you have by getting you back in your body and not so much in your head, because when you are in your head, your body and your mind are not in sync and you cannot let your shots throw freely and let your talent come out if you're thinking about it too much. So I work really hard with him on that.

Q. When did you hook up with him?
CRISTIE KERR: The last round of the Kraft last year is when I really decided, hey, you know what, I need full-time help with this. Because you know what, it's too hard, doing it yourself. I'm not like embarrassed to say that I need help with the mental game because how many amateurs and how many pros out there are just mental cases? They have a lot of talent and can't get it done. I have the talent. If I can make the mental part of my game as strong as my talent, it's going to be good.

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