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June 6, 2009

Cristie Kerr


JASON TAYLOR: Thanks for coming in. You finished overall at 12-under. You're two back from the lead. 6-under today. Great start with an eagle on 1. Not the best finish, but other than that you had a pretty good day.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I had a great day. I mean, gusts are in the neighborhood of 40 miles an hour out there, which is higher than they predicted. Ball's moving on the green. You got to be careful with your club.
I did a lot of stuff right. I made a great par on 15. We all hit driver, 3-wood into the green. I got up and down. Made about an 8-footer for par.
Yeah, wasn't the best finish. But those holes played really tough. I actually hit it in the bunker on 16. Hit a great layup out. I had 108 yards to the hole. I usually fly 9-iron to about 130. I hit 9-iron, hit a wall of wind, went into the bunker.
When I hit at the particular time, it probably was the right club to grip the 8, but I did what I should have done there. Ended up making bogey. Then didn't make a very good swing on 17. Hit an amazing bunker shut out. Used a pitching wedge. Hit a good putt, but just didn't hit it hard enough. Decelled on it.
18 I played great. I'll just take that into tomorrow. The course played totally different today.
JASON TAYLOR: Questions.

Q. Knowing your history on tough courses, when you wake up today and see it's blowing, are you smiling inside? What is your mentality going into a tough day like today?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I think there's more upsides. For me, I'm a grinder. I like the tough conditions. You know, the last couple days, they were shooting anywhere from 6-under to 9-under. I figured I needed a day like this to have an amazing round to get back into the hunt. That's exactly what I did. That was my goal today. I have to take that away and not really think about the finish. Anybody who was out there understands how difficult it was.
I've been hitting 6-iron into that par 3. I had to hit 5-wood. That's how different it was. Did a lot of stuff right out there. So I have to take that into tomorrow. I put myself in contention. It's where I wanted to be. We'll see how they play the last couple holes.

Q. In terms of wind, how did today compare to the second day at the Nabisco?
CRISTIE KERR: I actually was on the correct end of the split there. I had a little bit of wind, but not the amount of wind that they had.

Q. The afternoon?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, the afternoon wind there, it's hard to say because, I mean, there's some open areas on this course, but that whole course is like open. I would say it was probably a little stronger there than it was today. This is one of the windier days we've had all year.

Q. What holes are playing the toughest with the wind the way it was today? Are there any holes where the wind is actually creating an advantage?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I mean, I think on the par 5s, on the front, they played a lot shorter today. So, like, 1 and 6. But then this course, the way it sets up, it kind of gives and takes. 7 played tough. 8 downwind played tough. 9 and 18 played tough. 13 played really downwind. 15 played extremely tough because of the wind. I hit driver, 3-wood just short of the green. Still had to make a good up and down out of the rough.
16 and 17 are playing like bears. I mean, not necessarily 16 so much. The way I played it, it did. If you hit it in the fairway there, you can get a wood. You needed to have some kind of a shorter shot into this green. I had to hit a full shot in. So, you know, when you're that much into the wind, hit that wall of wind. Then 16, 17 and 18 played completely different than they have.

Q. How long was 17 playing today?
CRISTIE KERR: We had 182 to the hole. I thought it was modestly playing 205. Maybe 210 to the back over the green. I hit 5-wood. Didn't hit a very good shot. The thing is, when you hit bad shots when there's no wind, you can get away with it. But when there's so much wind, you hit it in the direction the wind's going, you're kind of you know what'd.

Q. I wanted to know if you're still working with Joe Parent (phonetic)?

Q. Does the residual of that show up when you have a series of holes like you play 16 and 17, then have a tough hole to play on 18 and you're able to bounce back on that?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I mean, I'm pretty mentally strong. You know, since I've been working with him, I'm way better at that stuff than I used to be. I mean, that's what I've accepted I have to work on to get to the next level.
I'm starting to see results of that. So, you know, bounce-back is huge in golf because you're going to make mistakes, especially in tough conditions. You know, the shot I hit into 18, actually I thought it was 10 feet. The wind just ate it up. I don't know what the forecast is for tomorrow. Have another day like this, it will be interesting.

Q. But you learned from today?
CRISTIE KERR: I definitely learned on 16 and 17. I was trying to control a little bit where the ball was going too much, instead of just trying to feel the move I was trying to make. As a result of that, I was a little steery, hit some shots I hadn't hit earlier in the round. I learned from that.
Coming down the stretch, said to my caddie for tomorrow, Hey, we're going to do the same thing we did the whole round before that. I'm going to try to feel the move I'm trying to make and let the ball go where it goes.

Q. Top of the Money List. At what point in your career, if there was a point, did you decide that you went from believe -- you were satisfied with being one of the best players in the world to committed being the best player in the world?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I think that's happened in the last couple years. But, you know, I had struggled with my game not necessarily last year so much, but the year before that, when I won the Open. That was a different kind of year for me, but yet I won the Open. I had some caddie issues.
I feel like the caddie I have now, his name is John, I really feel like we're an amazing team. We can do anything we want to do on the golf course together. We're a hundred percent team. We know each other. We know each other, how we are coming down the stretch. I trust him.
That was a big part of it for me. The mental stuff is a big part for me. I think there were some things that had to kind of line up to feel like I could kind of go for it.
But at the same time, using the mental part of it, the reason I'm there now is because I'm doing all the steps, I'm doing the process. The result is taking care of itself. I've got to keep focusing on that. I know if I do that as well as I can do that, then it may happen.
That's more important to me than the results, being No. 1, because I need to pay attention to my job. It's satisfaction in knowing you can do as best you can with what you can do. I know that my stuff, when I do that, is better than a lot of people's. That's what I got to focus on.

Q. A few players have gotten to the position of No. 1 in the world and find they didn't like the world they were in. There were financial opportunities they wanted to take advantage of, but there were enough distractions off the course that they really didn't enjoy being at the top.
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I want to talk to them. What are you thinking?

Q. You don't see there's any downside to being the target?
CRISTIE KERR: No (laughter). Sorry. I think No. 1 is about as good as you can get.

Q. This stretch of tournaments for you guys, LPGA next week, U.S. Open, how important is it to peak at this time of year? How hard is it to peak and maintain it for three weeks a month?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, certainly you want to peak during the majors and some of the big tournaments. But my work with Joe Parent and my coach Bryan Lebedevitch, we're learning to be able to get up for every week, kind of build up. Maybe, as you say, peak for the majors, whatever.
But, I mean, you know, that's what Lorena does. She plays good every week. Not out of the realm of possibility to be able to do that. That's kind of some of the work we're doing.

Q. One more wind question. It seemed like it was getting stronger to me as the day went on. Did you experience that as well?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, definitely. I mean, when we started, it was probably 10 to 15. Then by about the 7th or 8th hole, it really started picking up. On 9 we really felt it. On the back, I think it got even stronger. So putting became very difficult. You had to get a good base, make sure you don't put your club down and make the ball move or whatever.
I thought it definitely got stronger. It's not letting up either. I think we got lucky with the weather, too. They weren't forecasting rain. I looked a little ominous there for a while. I think that blew north of us.

Q. Are you more comfortable with the lead on Sunday or would you prefer to let somebody else have that?
CRISTIE KERR: That's an interesting question, I think. I am comfortable with having the lead. I'm also comfortable coming from behind. I've come from behind as much as eight shots, you know, to win a tournament. I've had the lead all four days in a tournament. I've won pretty much every way there is to win.
I think the goal for me is to be in contention, if not having the lead, being right up there going into Sunday, doing that more often. Statistics will tell what they will tell at the end of my career, I guess, whether I was more comfortable having the lead or not. I'm not sure (laughter).

Q. You said after your U.S. Open win you proved something to yourself that week. You didn't have a lot of game coming in that year or that week. How much of that experience of proving something to yourself has carried forward from this point? How much when you're in contention now are you different than you were before you posted a U.S. Open win?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, I think that's a great question. I think, you know, that definitely did change me. It showed me that under the most stressful, pressure-packed situation, that I could control my game, and I could control my mind and my emotions. I draw from that every time I'm in contention.
You know, just as I did in Kingsmill. When I won Kingsmill, I wasn't even really nervous coming down the stretch because I knew what my abilities were and I knew that if I did my job, I'd be hard to beat. And that's what I did.
I draw on every single win I've had, every different way of winning, into the tournaments that I take into it. I mean, you always know, like, who you're playing against, whether it's Lorena, Kristy McPherson, you can never underestimate your opponent, you can't. Look at Kraft. I was favored to win there. I actually played great. I hit one bad shot there and ended up losing the golf tournament. But I played great. I could not hang -- what's the expression? I don't know. I couldn't hang my head at all. You know, I left everything out on the course.
But that's the way it goes sometimes. Anybody who has won enough will tell you they've been in contention enough to where, as many tournaments as they have won, they've lost just as many. Jack Nicklaus won how many tournaments, yet he finished second. In my career, I probably finished second probably 10 or 11 times. If I win those, I'm in the Hall of Fame. Do the math. It's pretty amazing.
You have to draw from all that experience, take it into what you got, do your job, and hopefully your game us up to par that day.

End of FastScripts

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