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May 13, 2010

Cristie Kerr


MODERATOR: So Cristie Kerr, 5-under, 67. Good round today. Talk a little bit about it.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I played really well today. Any time you're shooting in the 60s and lower you have to be doing a lot of stuff right.
My first birdie I think came at the sixth hole actually with a bit of bad luck. That's kind of ironic, because I hit a perfect tee shot and I had so much mud on it that I had -- it felt like I had to layup. Like if there was no mud on it I could have gotten to the green in two.
But I ended up just hitting a 7-iron to layup. I aimed like right side of the fairway. So much mud on it I ended up going in the bunker, and then I stiffed it out of the bunker from like 80 yards, which is probably one of the tougher shots in golf.
So that kind of got my round started. Great birdie on 8. Hit a great iron into the green, and great putt on 9. Just kind of kept the momentum going from there.
I almost made a long putt on 10 for birdie. I don't know how it didn't go in, but, you know, left probably three or four putts short right in the middle of the cup, so it could have even been lower.
But, you know, like I said, any time you're shooting in the 60s, doing a lot right. This is the only the first day of the tournament, so...
MODERATOR: Okay. I've got one, and then I'll open it up. You're ranked No. 5 in the world right now. You've been around the top of the rankings for quite a while.
Now with Lorena's retirement, do you feel like that's opened a door for you to move up?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, absolutely. We're sad to see that she's gone. She was such a great personality and a great player for this tour, and very visible. You know, she probably single handedly brought three or four events to Mexico for this tour, so we're sad to see her go.
But definitely when somebody exits there's always more room at the top. But, you know, there is still a lot great players. Jiyai Shin, Suzanne Pettersen, Yani Tseng.
There's a lot of great players ahead of me right now. It's gonna take a couple wins to vault me up there. I think I'm ready for that challenge, and that's why we play golf.
MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. From some people's perspective, losing Lorena and Annika a couple years ago, turnover at commissioner, that things are in a state of, if not chaos, at least flux. How do you view the strength and the state of the tour as you sit here after your 67?
CRISTIE KERR: I think we're definitely on the upswing with a new commissioner, Michael Whan. I mean, if you haven't met him, go meet him because he's the kind of guy that will get in trenches and caddie for somebody just to see what it's like and see how it is to be a caddie.
He'll go and sit with anybody and talk about any business matter. He's a great guy for business development. Very personable. Sometimes self-admittedly talks a little bit too fast, but I think he's ready for our tour.
Since he's come on, HSBC has not only renewed their tournament in Singapore from my understanding, but they've added this tournament in Brazil, and a lot of other conversations are going on.
So I think that's hugely positive for us. I think we just have to recognize that those kind of golfers are just not gonna be around forever. Whether they're have been a baby and they don't want to play anymore, or they're just ready to step away from the game.
I think that it's the tour's job and responsibility to kind of showcase the personalities and the stars of the tour so that people don't feel like when some of those players leave, Oh, my God, what are we gonna do?
You know, I've been on tour for 14 years now, I finished second on the Money List last year, and I have a real shot to become No. 1. It's gonna take a lot of hard work and it's not gonna be easy. And it's certainly not just because Lorena Ochoa left not a given. I have to work really hard and keep up my end of the bargain.

Q. This was your first competitive round since the last round at Nabisco.
CRISTIE KERR: We played in the Mojo tournament.

Q. Okay. What's the hardest part about getting back into the rhythm?
CRISTIE KERR: That's a very good question, actually. I think that when you're off for three weeks you don't face the stresses of competition, and, you know, the daily schedule that you have to go through and how you're gonna feel on that first tee and how things are gonna go.
When you're playing well week to week, there's a level of consistently see and you kind of know how it's going. Having a couple weeks off you're a little bit more unsure.
But this is a great golf course for me to start back on. I've always played well here, and I love the changes that they've made to the course, especially the greens.

Q. I think you have three Top 10s in four starts. How would you rate the start of your season and how you've been playing from the jump?
CRISTIE KERR: I've been playing great. You know, disappointing finish for me in Singapore. I feel like I had a chance to win there. But, you know, I've been playing great. My short game and putting and everything is -- feels like it's continuing to get better. Mental game is continuing to get better. I'm back with my caddie that I won the U.S. Open with. I'm very happy to have him back on the bag. I think we're a very formidable team together.
You know, I'm looking forward to getting back into contention and hopefully getting a win early this season.
MODERATOR: Thank you.

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