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June 14, 2010

Cristie Kerr


MODERATOR: Congratulations on winning the 2010 LPGA State Farm Classic, your just second time winning in Springfield.
If you would, just summarize the week for us. Obviously it turned into a 5-day event. We had some weather, but all in all, for you, a pretty good week.
CRISTIE KERR: It was is great week. Starting out the week I had my coach with me, Brian Lebedevitch. We worked on a lot of good stuff just kind of simplifying my game. I came down with the flu on Tuesday night, and the Pro-Am was a struggle. I mean, Mike Whan came out and was like trying to cheer me on. I was like sitting on my golf bag I was so tired.
Then finally got on antibiotics about three days ago, and this is the best I've felt all week, regardless of winning or not. You know, it's hard. There was a lot of weather this morning too, and we were lucky to finish. We had to start even early to be able to finish the fourth round.
You know, you always want to try and complete the tournament to be able to feel like you earned it. Because if been rain-shortened I would have won, but you want to feel like you earned it.
I would have taken it, don't get me wrong. (Laughing.) But this feels better. It feels better to have earned it. An amazing, long week, but I'll still be out there practicing tomorrow when I get to Atlantic City.
MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Two early mornings in a row you come out here with a birdie putt waiting for you. As opposed to maybe you're in the fairway or something, when you know you have that birdie putt coming out here, is that good?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I think it's definitely good. I think that, you know, instead of opposed to having to hit an iron shot into a tucked pin or something, I was fortunate to have, you know, on Saturday about a 5-, 6-footer for birdie on 5, and then the birdie putt from about seven or eight feet on 9.
You know, I made both of those, so those were like, Okay, getting the day started out right. I was definitely fortunate to be in those positions when play stopped both days.

Q. You talk about your putting maybe the first day. I think you said last week you tried maybe X number of putters and you finally settled on a Marksman?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, it's an Odyssey Marksman.

Q. As the tournament went on, did you feel more and more confident with that?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I mean, I did try a lot of putters last week. I got those two putters with me. I had a 2 Ball that I've been using forever. I had them put a line on it and send me one, and then this one.
I actually picked up this putter, the Marksman model, in the pro shop at Liberty National where I practice out of in Jersey City right a cross the way from New York City. It was the last putter that I picked up, and I just knew that -- I just picked it up and I go, Oo, I like the feel of this even without putting with it.
The people at Liberty National were very patient with me. I took about 20 of their putters out that week. I just felt like -- you know, I had to have a couple of them sent to me because the one in there wasn't the right length obviously. But, you know, when did get it and putt with it, it just felt like I was staying more still over the putts, felt like my weight was a little bit more left, and just felt like steady. Felt solid.
Felt like I was hitting the putts consistently; whereas before I had struggle with hitting one way too hard or way too soft. I felt like I was hitting the same putt over and over again, and that's how you make a lot of putts.

Q. Coming into 18, did you know how clear you were ahead of Anna?
CRISTIE KERR: Uh-huh, I did. I tried to chip it in on 16 to get a 3-shot lead. You just never know. You're fighting a lot stuff out there. You know, my swing didn't feel like awesome, you know, the last day, but my short game and putting were there.
I put a lot of hard work in these two off weeks before this tournament. That's why I was kind of mad at myself on 17, too because I left a putt short like on the right line. I said, Just give it a chance, you know, because you just don't know.
Having extra shots down the stretch, that's why you want to extend the lead.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about challenges in between rain delays, the uncertainty of how you'll play when you get back out there, when you'll get back out there? Obviously you won, but did it affect your game at all?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it did affect my game a little bit. The green speed definitely got slower as the week went on because of the rain. They did an amazing job though, the staff at Panther Creek here. You know, 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. four or five days in a row, we think we have it hard. We don't. You know, they do a lot of work.
I thought it was actually to my advantage that they called play last evening, because I was just exhausted. I didn't sleep at all on Saturday night. Just up coughing the whole night and kept my husband up.
You know, when I finished the third round, it just felt like I just wanted to like lay down and go to sleep because I've been sick all week and the hard schedule. You know, but I fought through a lot of stuff this week.

Q. And let's talk about you setting a new tournament record. How does that feel, setting a record and also winning this championship twice now?
CRISTIE KERR: It's amazing. I think the last time I won might have been -23 at the other golf course as well. So that's a tournament record for --
MODERATOR: I think it's the golf course record here.
CRISTIE KERR: The course record here and then it tied the tournament record. Pretty amazing. I don't know what it is about this place. Maybe it's those three little girls over and little boy and another little baby that follow me around every single hole of the tournament regardless of the rain delays.
They're over there if you want to talk to 'em. The little boy is back there. I see you. (Applause.) He's shy.

Q. Going forward and winning this and having this under your belt, how does this boost your confidence?
CRISTIE KERR: It boosts it a lot. I think what's more impressive to me is that I still felt like I have things to work on and that I could have even done better. So that's what I'm gonna focus on, because winning is really the accumulation of everything that you do well better than everybody that week.
You know, I feel like this week that I still could have done some things better to win by 5 or 6, and then maybe that would have -- you know, that would've been as good as I could do for the week. Winning is a great feeling, but you can't stop there. You've got to be able to set new goals.
I've learned through my long year that it has to be now that I'm setting the new goals , because I've got another tournament next week and then I've got another major. So giddy up.

Q. Last two days, exactly what time did you get out here like yesterday and this morning?
CRISTIE KERR: Um, we resumed at 7:00 yesterday, so I was out here at like 5:15, as soon as the trailer opened. Today, since the trailer wasn't here, I got here at -- and I was only on the 9th green. I just had to walk over there. I was here at like 5:30.

Q. What time do you go to bed?
CRISTIE KERR: 10:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30.

Q. You mentioned the trailer yesterday. Whatever time of day, that's part of your routine?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I mean, before the start of the fourth round, yesterday, I went in and stretched again. Because you play this much golf, you're gonna get walking and tight. I've been sick and just felt like I needed to stretch more. Felt like I was tight. I wasn't rotating off the ball as good as I had been earlier in the week. That comes with playing, too, because I have tendencies that I have to work on.
But everything went my way this week.

Q. You talked the other day about an American winner this year. You're our first American winner in an official event. Talk about that in terms of being motivated or whatever.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, that definitely motivates me to be the top American and top player on tour. You know, No. 1 player in the world has been a goal of mine forever. If you're good and you can win tournaments, it should be your goal. You should want to be at the pinnacle of your sport.
I'm a fiercely competitive person, and it's definitely something I want to accomplish once; and then if I get it, I'll go from there. So I'm just happy not to have to answer, Why are there no American winners anymore.

Q. You also mentioned No.1, Rolex, whatever. We're kind of in a transitional period. Do you feel like, Hey, this is a good step?
CRISTIE KERR: Definitely. There are a lot of amazing players between me and No. 1. I feel like I'm still continuing to get better. But this win is huge for Americans on tour. You know, Morgan won Japan earlier in the year. I know it wasn't an official event, but she played great to win. She's one of my best friends.
We need to really build LPGA girl's golf programs in America, because we need more girls in America playing and getting out there to Q schools and getting on tour. We need to look out for the health American golf going forward.
I'm just a part of that.

Q. Talk about how important it was for you and the LPGA to have an American winner.
CRISTIE KERR: It's huge. Even though we're a global tour, we're still American based. Our headquarters are in Florida and Daytona Beach, and we still have a lot of Europeans living in America, Koreans living in America. It's still an American-based tour. We need to represent that strength, that part of our tour well.
It's hard, because it seems like the numbers of Americans have kind of dwindled. I think there was a stat that in 1990 the number of Americans that played ten or more events was like 132, and last year it was like 40 or less.
So that tells you how much more international our tour's gotten. I think that we need to just stand on the tee and get it done. Like I said, I'm just a part of it.

Q. You mentioned Morgan. She was out there with the champagne. I know you're very close. Maybe when she first came out or even when she was an amateur on tour, did you see yourself a little bit in terms of a young, very talented...
CRISTIE KERR: I think she's got way less fear than I did when I first came out. When I first came out, it was hard for me. My parents were getting divorced. A lot of things were happening in my life. It seems like the young players are all set up now with their coaches, their mental coaches, their trainers, their, you know, private jet cars, all this stuff.
We hope to get a private jet car again. We're working back towards that. It was good a couple years ago, but the economy is bad. She's one of my best friends. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding. She's a great player. She's worked hard to get longer, and she has. It's starting to show in her game.
She's aggressive, man, I'll tell you. She's got no fear. And that's good. We need the fans to really celebrate the stars of our tour, and, you know, lift us up.

Q. Jason won with I.K. last year, your caddie. He wins with you this year. Talk a little bit about what led you to team back up with him this year.
CRISTIE KERR: It was interesting, because I had John Killeen caddying for me last year and we had an amazing year. We almost won the money title. It was just a decision long-term that I felt like I needed -- I don't want to really get into that.
I just felt like Jason was the guy that had that competitive fire, you know, the wanting to win, the working-harder-than-everybody-else kind of mentality. Like I'm gonna get it done on Sunday. I'm gonna help my player win on Sunday. That's kind of what I needed again.
We split up before not because of golf stuff. Personalities were clashing a little bit and we both needed to mature a little bit, and we have. It was time for us to get back together.

Q. He said you remained friends.
CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. I mean, you know what, if you're out here as long as we all are, and we all know each other, it business. You can't really hold grudges, unless something happens between a player and a caddie that is obviously specific to them.
We've always been friends. We won the Open together. We won so many tournaments together. If I'm not wrong, I think this win probably either ties or he has the most tournament wins with me as a caddie. Not for him personally. Like for me with a caddie compared to my other caddie/player team, I think we have either tied or most wins for all the caddies that have worked for me.

Q. Winning this tournament, and you won back at the Rail, for you guys, this is one of many stops in a given season. Of course, locally it is this is the big event every year. This was, like you said, a very trying, difficult week. Maybe you've dealt with this kind of stuff before. Could you touch a little bit again about just about how -- you had a very good track record here, I mean, whether it's The Rail or Panther Creek...
CRISTIE KERR: First year that I won here I met Mary, and she followed me around. She was itty bitty and little, and I hadn't even really known the family. Joe, her father, was taking her out obviously to show her, Hey, this is a golf tournaments. Hey, let's get you involved in golf. It's a good thing.
We're seeing more and more fathers and mothers bringing out their daughters to these tournaments. That's how I got involved in playing golf. So who knows if they'll end up being golfers. So I met them the first year, and it was just -- meeting that family was just kind of magic.
Like they followed me -- every hole I've played in Springfield, that family has followed me around the for the last five years, or six years even. And that's even in '04 when I won.
So that's pretty special. I look forward to seeing them every year I come here. I didn't get to spend any time with them this week because of all the delays, so I'm probably gonna bring them out to another tournament and hang out.
It's just pretty amazing. When you find something special, you got to hold onto it.

Q. Could you mention their names again of that family?
CRISTIE KERR: Mary, Emily, Rachel, Joey, and I don't know even know the little one's name. They just had another baby. Sara (phonetic.)
So they have four beautiful kids. The Ducajis. Five, sorry. Four and a half.

Q. Can you spell that?
CRISTIE KERR: Can you guys spell it? I know how to spell it, but can you?
DUCAJI CHILD: D-u-c-a-j-i.
CRISTIE KERR: How cute is that? You should go talk to this little girl. That might scare 'em a little.
MODERATOR: Thanks, Cristie.

End of FastScripts

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