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July 10, 2009

Cristie Kerr


RHONDA GLENN: We'll just ask Cristie a few brief questions.

Q. How difficult was it out there, and what's the mindset going into the weekend?
CRISTIE KERR: It was pretty tough. I mean pins were kind of similar to how they were yesterday, near the slopes or on the other side of the slope. And the greens were a lot firmer, so we had to kind of adjust the game plan.
And you know, I played great. You know, I made a couple bad shots, and that led to a couple bogeys in the middle of the round, but I played great. I made a lot of birdies and got the momentum back when I needed it. And you know even on the 8th hole that I made bogey, I played a pretty good hole actually. I just made bogey. I mean, where that pin is, I was in between 8 and 9-iron and if I would have hit 9-iron, I'd just -- it was perfect, just the ball didn't stay in the bunker and I just didn't want to put that in play.
So U.S. Open is about saving shots, and you know, I felt like I saved one there, even though I made bogey.

Q. And the mindset for the weekend?
CRISTIE KERR: Mindset for the weekend is you have to be focused on every shot and you gotta be paying attention on every shot.
They're not all going to turn out the way you want, but at the end of the day and the end of the weekend, if you execute every shot the way you want, that's really all you can control, so that's what I'm going to try and do.
RHONDA GLENN: You made a stretch of three straight birdies teeing off on No. 10 as your first hole, on 15, 16 and 17. That must have really pumped you up.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. It was great. I told the other reporters in the flash area, I was very light-headed when I started the round. I just didn't feel great. So I didn't have the feel and I hit some pretty bad shots. And I just wanted to feel a little better. I knew if I did that, I'd get the feel back. And that's what happened.
On 13 I had my first good shot of the day. On 15 I hit it close. 16, I hit it close. 17, I hit it close and made birdie. That felt really good.
RHONDA GLENN: Can you tell me how close you hit it on 15, 16, 17, how long the putts were?
CRISTIE KERR: 15 I hit it about nine feet. 16 I hit it about three feet. 17 I hit it about eight feet.
RHONDA GLENN: Then you had bogeys on 1 and 2.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. I hit a bad layup into the rough on 1 and had a really bad lie in the intermediate-kind-of rough, and just kind of tried to hit it out of there as hard as I could and got it in the front bunker, kind of at an awkward lie and made bogey, almost made the putt actually from about 15 feet.
And 2, I hit in the left rough, and hit in the left bunker, green-side bunker, and both Yani and I were in there, and there was hardly any sand in there actually, and we both hit it over the green. And I left it short, I actually made about a 10-footer for bogey, so that was a pretty good bogey actually. And then bounced back, birdied 3 and 4, hit 9-iron into 3, made about a 15-footer.
On 4, I hit 8-iron about 12 feet, made that, big breaking putt. And then I played great the rest of the way in.
Tough pin on 8. Everybody in the group bogeyed it. I'd look at the scoring average on that hole today, if I were you. I'm sure there were more bogeys than there were pars.

Q. Cristie, when you get on those birdie runs like that, two in a row, three in a row, because it's a U.S. Open, do you have to fight the temptation? Do you consider yourself a streaky player and do you have to fight the temptation maybe to try for more?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. I think that's kind of what happened on No. 1. I could have hit a 7-wood to lay up, and I hit 5-wood trying to get it down there a little further, got a little greedy. And I think I learned my lesson. Just get it in the fairway. Doesn't matter what -- you could have a 7-iron in. It's better than being in the rough with a sand wedge. And I know that, though, but you have those moments in the U.S. Open where they either work out or they don't. And when they don't, you learn from them.

Q. Talking about the birdies a little more, several players we talked to said the course was set up to there were only maybe three or four birdie holes out there. Obviously you exceeded that, but is your approach that birdies are almost a bonus and you're just kind of playing for pars because it's the U.S. Open and that's what's out there?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I mean, you have to kind of look at the shot and where the pin is, where the trouble is in relation to and the risk-reward about trying to hit it close or not. And that's what I've done in U. S. Opens. That's why my game is tailored for this kind of golf because I can assess my comfort level going into the greens, and I can say I'm not really comfortable going for this pin or I am for that pin.
So kind of knowing yourself a little bit, I just gotta kind of use my gut instinct for what's a green light or red light, as Johnny Miller or Dottie Pepper would say, on the weekend and just go from there.

Q. How much faster do you think the putting surfaces were today than was the case yesterday?
CRISTIE KERR: They were pretty fast. I mean some of the greens have got kind of burned out. They're not burned out, but they're crunchy, like No. 9, No. 18, for sure were significantly faster.
You know, I commented to my caddie that you don't get a lot of uphill putts on these greens. You just don't.
They're all kind of -- they're all very subtle and a lot of ridges here and there. So you're just going to have to kind of watch it, just even if you're going to miss a green, pick the side you're going to miss it on so you have a chance to get up and down.
All those little nuances things, you'd be surprised over 40 tournaments might equal a shot, might be the thing that wins a tournament for you.
RHONDA GLENN: All right. Thank you very much, Cristie, for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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