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May 9, 2009

Cristie Kerr


JASON TAYLOR: Let's do your scorecard.
CRISTIE KERR: I hit a little pitching wedge about five feet and ended up with a bogey. Bogeyed two. Actually I hit a good shot on the green, chipped short of the hole and I don't know what happened on the putt. No, typical me. Hit 3-wood into the green in two, on three, two-putted with a tap-in from about 30 feet.
And then bogeyed 9, hit it way left off the tee. And actually I almost made a long putt for par. All of us had putts from like 20 feet for par and they made theirs and I missed mine.
10, 11. 12, I hit pitching wedge. I think it was pitching wedge to about 10, 12 feet. Made that.
15, actually hit a good lob wedge in there and the wind just didn't catch it and I had about a 25-footer, made that for birdie.
17, hit 8-iron about seven feet, made that. 18, I hit a pitching wedge to about 10, 11 feet, I guess. 12 feet. Made that.
JASON TAYLOR: All right, Cristie. Thanks once again for coming in. Not a bad third round for you today. 15-under overall. Tied for the lead going into the final round. If you would, just talk about how you think today went.
CRISTIE KERR: I thought today went well, you know. I got off to a good start, obviously bogeying two after birdieing one. That's not what I wanted. But I swung back, birdied three and then birdied the par-3, fifth hole, and I just hit a bad tee shot on 9. Body kind of stopped, hit it left, which I've been working on, and it's been happening less and less. And made a good par save on 10, and I started to hit it a little bit better and give myself more chances, started rolling the ball with the right speed, made a lot on the Back 9, kind of gained momentum, and it was fun to birdie the last two holes.
JASON TAYLOR: Questions?

Q. Was the wind difficult to judge out there? Are you usually pretty good in the wind?
CRISTIE KERR: Usually pretty good in the wind. I grew up in South Florida. I don't think it was as strong as it was for the last couple days for my tee time brackets that I played in. But nonetheless, in the trees it tends to swirl around. And I've got a pretty good caddy, John Killeen, and we judge. We're a pretty good team I would say.

Q. Mentally does that make that much difference making that birdie putt?
CRISTIE KERR: I think so. I mean obviously, if you don't have to make up shots, it's better. You know, but I just got in a groove, just started hitting some good shots and feeling the speed on the greens and feeling the reads, and when it happens, I make a lot of putts; and hopefully I can carry that into tomorrow.

Q. For somebody who's won 11 times, how difficult is it to learn to play as the leader when you haven't done it much like Lindsey Wright hasn't? How challenging is that when you've never done it?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, thankfully it's been a while since I felt that, 11 wins ago. But you know, she'll have to deal with her internal self and voices and whatever else is going on, just like we all do.
You know, but I have to focus on where I want to go tomorrow instead of being tied for the lead because obviously that's not going to hold up. So I've gotta go out and do my job the best I can, like I have the last three days, like I have all year. I've been doing a lot of mental training, and I really feel comfortable out there.
And to be able to -- even if it doesn't feel like I'm hitting it well, to be able to control my ball and put it on the green, and when I'm on the green, it's going to make some putts here or there.

Q. Does the mental training you're doing kind of allow you to get over the valleys in the day, like when you hit a bad shot?
CRISTIE KERR: Oh, absolutely. It absolutely does. And you learn when you're good mentally on every shot, just like Tiger, you're going to kind of mosey through, mosey through when you're not hitting it good and maybe be 1-under, even or something like that, and when you start hitting it good like I did on the back, that's when you pick up momentum. And if you can ride those patches where not everything is coming together, that's when you know you're playing really well.

Q. What do you think Lorena's inner voices were telling her today? She had a rough day.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. She definitely had a rough day. I haven't seen her play like that in a while.
Adam is a great caddy. He's won a bunch of times out here, but I feel like today she missed Dave a little bit. He broke his ankle in Morelia, and I think those times when she might have been playing a little rough, he's picked her up a little bit and he's known how to talk to her, and I think she missed that out there today.
You know, but she's No. 1 player in the world, but I think she doesn't have too many days like this.

Q. Since in the past Anheuser Busch has such a good history here. Does that even cut closer to the bone for you and hate to see this tournament go away?
CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. A lot of us have been pondering the question what's going to happen for next year.
I just said to myself, let me just put on the best show I can this week, and hopefully they'll see the value and it's so worth it, and all the people coming out more and more every year. This is a really great showcase for any brand.
And I think it's our responsibility, and it's been my focus this week. I want to try to give them the best show I can. That's the best I can do to try and help to save this tournament going forward.

Q. When did you really decide you were going to start focusing on the mental side of your game?
CRISTIE KERR: Last year.

Q. What happened?
CRISTIE KERR: I had the lead at Kraft last year, didn't have a good final round, and that's when I realized that even when I wasn't mentally great, I could still shoot a 66 on a major championship golf course like Mission Hills, and if I could be more consistent mentally like that all the time, that I could, you know, shoot those rounds more often.
So I realized that I needed help, and I'm working with Dr. Joe Parent now, and I'm very pleased with the work that we've done, and he's helped me to maximize my ability and really start believing in myself.

Q. As an outsider you wouldn't think the past U.S. Open champion, you'd think you'd be very mentally strong.
CRISTIE KERR: No. It's not a matter of not being mentally strong. It's being mentally strong every single day and learning how to do that every day, because it is a challenge to be able to do that every day.
I mean Tiger Woods has been seeing somebody since he was four or five years old and still works with them, so if he needs it, I certainly need it.
Annika as well is somebody since a very young age she's been working with somebody because there's a lot of pressure out there, and if you can just learn how to deal with it and learn where to put it, it really doesn't affect you. You realize it's just stuff you make up in your own head and there's a lot of situations you put yourself in that you put more pressure on yourself when it's really just hitting a golf shot. If you can learn how to just do that, it's limitless.

Q. In your every-day normal life, do you feel like you're Zen-like?
CRISTIE KERR: I'm a lot more peaceful and not stressed out about the little things in life a lot more since I've been working with him. Zen Buddhism is not a bad way to go. It's very peaceful. It's very -- it's all about self-awareness. And I've been doing a lot of work, but I've enjoyed doing the work as well because it's helping make me a better person as well.

Q. What advantages do you feel like you have tomorrow over somebody like Lindsey who hasn't won?
CRISTIE KERR: You know what, I've learned to not underestimate anybody. I mean I played my heart out at Kraft. I hit one bad shot and it was like, I mean you would think, oh, well, Brittany has won a couple times, but not a major like that. And Kristy McPherson had never won, and you know what, they played their hearts out and they played amazing.
So I've learned to never underestimate anybody, because you never know, on any given day somebody could bring their best. It's up to me to do my job and bring my best and see how it matches up.

Q. You're good friends with Natalie, and she told me today that she's playing without pain again. How important is it for her to be on the leaderboard playing well?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it's great for the Tour. She's great with sponsors, great with fans. She's just an amazing person. She's just really, really nice, and she's been one of my best friends since she came on the Tour, however many years ago that was.
And it just pained me to see her in pain, and I tried to do what I can to help her. She said her swing from impact to like the free swing, that's kind of messed her back up. And you know, you're frustrated as a friend because you want to say, well, I know this doctor, I know that doctor and this physical therapist. But when they're doing everything they can, you just gotta kind of wish them well.
And it's great that she's playing without pain now. She's just gotta keep doing her rehab and keep on top of it because her golf swing, as she will tell you, is the reason why her back's been messed up. And she's working very hard to make it more simple so she doesn't have that big dip and put that strain on her back. So she's doing everything she can.

Q. Have you watched "Celebrity Friends?"
CRISTIE KERR: I have a little bit. You know what, I'm not a TV person. I like movies and I like "Gossip Girl" and "Heroes." That's what I watch. And I download them so I don't have to watch the commercials.
JASON TAYLOR: All right. Thanks, Cristie.
CRISTIE KERR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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