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July 9, 2009

Cristie Kerr


RHONDA GLENN: We could go ahead and start and do your card. You started from the front nine. Interject if you had any really difficult up-and-downs to save pars, but we'll basically go over your birdies and bogeys.
CRISTIE KERR: No. 2 I hit a 6-iron to about eight feet to that pin and made birdie. It was a pretty good shot.
CRISTIE KERR: No. 6 I hit a sand wedge and made about a 12-footer for birdie.
RHONDA GLENN: Okay. And then a bogey on No. 7?
CRISTIE KERR: I hit 4-iron into the left bunker, just didn't break as much as I thought.
RHONDA GLENN: How long was the putt?
CRISTIE KERR: Maybe about seven, eight feet.
RHONDA GLENN: Okay. And then let's see. Hit birdie on 16.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. Made a really good up-and-down on 13 for par. Hit it kind of short right of the green and hit it up there about four feet, made par. And 16, hit a really good drive and a really good little 9-iron to about 15 feet, made that, and then could have made a couple more coming in, but pretty good golf today.
RHONDA GLENN: But overall you're pleased with your round? Good way to start.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. Hit 15 greens, hit 10 fairways, and the fairways I missed weren't by much. I putted really well. The pins are really tricky out there. There's some you wish you would have hit harder or softer here or there, but overall I did what I had to do and played pretty well.

Q. Cristie, I'm sure nobody can win the U. S. Open on the first day, but to have a round like this must be pretty gratifying to go out and put something solid on the board and get yourself in position.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. Definitely, as I said at the flash area, you know, every day is kind of its own separate competition, and today I did about as good as anybody is going to do.
This is a pretty solid round for this golf course, and the pins are tough. So you gotta see what each day brings you and try and take it day by day.

Q. How is the course playing as far as speed of the fairway, speed of the greens? Overall was it as hard or challenging as maybe Mike Davis was hoping it would be?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. I think it is. I played really well to shoot 2-under today. You know, the greens are really firm, which for the morning rounds, you know, I think maybe people thought they would be a little bit softer, but they're really not, not unless you have a sand wedge. And still the birdie I made on 6 I had sand wedge and it released 6, 7 yards with a sand wedge.
So the course is playing kind of firm and fast. Not so much in the fairways yet, but definitely around the greens, and of the pins are tough and the greens are a lot of speed on them. So you have to pay attention to what's going on.

Q. Did anything surprise you? You mentioned the firmness of the greens, even though you were in the morning wave. Was that a surprise or anything a surprise how it was set up?
CRISTIE KERR: Not really. The pins were tough. Definitely either over a little slope or a little slope in back of the pin. You know, the pin on 18 is kind of a peach. I hit a great shot to get it pin high right about 12 feet and it broke about seven feet. So I kind of knew after the first couple holes that it was going to kind of be that firm and fast for the rest of the round. So no surprises. I'm an Open champion. I kind of know what to expect.

Q. With everything swirling around Bivens and the LPGA, how important do you feel it is that a big-name player contends here on the weekend to draw some attention back towards what we all want to see is some good golf?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it's pretty easy to separate. This is a USGA event. As I said in my press conference before, I want to focus on this tournament and the golf this week because the golf is really the thing that's showcased, and as far as the LPGA stuff, I can't really comment at this time, like I said in my press conference before. But this tournament, has a knack of bringing the top players up to the leaderboard, so I think we're seeing that today.

Q. Would you say you played aggressive today? And being the United States championship, if you get to a 4 or 5 or that kind of a number, is there a certain time where you can kind of put it in I don't want to make any -- I'm not going to play as aggressive? Is there a certain number you're looking for?
CRISTIE KERR: No. Not really. You have to take what the course gives you at a U. S. Open. You try and be aggressive when you can and most of the time you can't be. It demands hitting greens, hitting them to the areas on the greens you can and try to roll in the putts, whether that be from 5 feet or 40 feet, that's kind of what you take in the U. S. Open.
So I was as aggressive as I could be today, and I think the scores are dictating that this course is playing about the way the USGA wants it.

Q. How was the atmosphere out there today and how is it compared to other first rounds of Opens in the past?
CRISTIE KERR: The atmosphere was generally good. There's a lot of people out there. You know, I said to my caddie, John, that I thought this Open may draw more people than the Open that I won at Pine Needles.
It's just got a really big feel to it. It's a big golf course, very long golf course, a lot of area for people to walk around, and it's truly a great place for a major championship.

Q. One more thing about the greens. It always takes good putting obviously to win any tournament, but would it be fair to say that it's almost more important where you are on the green as to how well you putt?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. I would agree to that. There's certain greens where I've said I'm going to hit it here every day no matter where the pin is, like on 11, because you just can't really hit it any other place and have a decent chance to make par. I mean this is quite a test of golf, this golf course.
And you know, I've done my homework, as I usually do at every Open, and mark the areas where you can't hit it, and you know, the places I did miss it today, I had a chance to make par from, and that's what you have to do. That's what you gotta do to win the Open.
RHONDA GLENN: How many practice rounds altogether have you played throughout the course of the past few months here?
CRISTIE KERR: I played one about three weeks ago and then I played every day this week so far.
RHONDA GLENN: And so four?

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