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September 7, 2005

Cristie Kerr


Q. Hi Cristie, thanks for joining us. You're the top points earner for the US team. Maybe talk about how this experience is for you.

CRISTIE KERR: It's pretty special to be able to play for Nancy Lopez and for Beth Daniel and Rosie and Meg. This team has a chemistry more than the other teams I have been on. Not to say that they didn't. We all mesh so well with our personalities and there is something special about the team. You can just tell, and we all feel it.

It's great to be apart of, and, you know, being home in the States and playing at Crooked Stick where there is a lot of history here. It's a great experience for me so far.

Q. We keep hearing about meshing and bonding. Can you give us an example? Tell us a good story that illustrates that.

CRISTIE KERR: Team dinners and the stories that are told and listening to the veterans speak.

Q. Best story of the week?

CRISTIE KERR: I don't know if I can quite go into it. You will have to trust me. What's talked in the team room stays in the team room. It's kind of like our bond and sisterhood together. It's sacred, the bond that the team has and the things we do together. You will have to believe us, we're having an unbelievable time and just really playing a lot of practice rounds together, and these are friendships you make for life. We have been laughing a lot and telling a lot of jokes. It's been really, really, fun time.

Q. Who is the best singer on the team?

CRISTIE KERR: We haven't gotten our karaoke machine, so I'm not quite sure. We're supposed to. I like to sing. I don't know if other people think I would be a good singer or not.

Q. What stays in Vegas

CRISTIE KERR: We're not in Vegas.

Q. Sounds like it.

CRISTIE KERR: It's not secretive. It's just those times that you share together. We're like sisters this week, and, you know, we have been rooting for each other for so long coming into the Solheim Cup. It's finally here. We get to spend time together and be a team, and we're normally competing against each other. It's really different.

Q. Cristie, if you look at the respective teams, the Europeans have bombers long hitters. You have putters. What would you rather have?

CRISTIE KERR: I think if you rank the two top hitters between the two teams, they're only 8 yards longer than us. The teams are pretty comparable. I think we're all pretty much all around good players. They have Laura and Sofie that hit it long. The greens are really different, and if you don't get the ball in the hole, it won't matter. The greens are getting faster by the day, and we have a small putting green to practice on, which is not the same speed. That's as of yesterday; I haven't been on it today, but not really the same speed, and you can't hit more than a 30 or 40 foot putt on it. It's pretty flat. There is a lot of undulations in the greens out there. Putting is going to be one of the main things to look for for who's going to win The Cup this year.

Q. Does that maybe enhance the advantage game by your three previous dates?

CRISTIE KERR: What's that?

Q. You guys had three practice rounds they didn't have. You got to know the greens a little better. Does that make that more advantageous?

CRISTIE KERR: I would say so. We have played here two times previously to coming here. Nancy wanted us to get to know the golf course so we could get a feel for the greens and not analyze or try to learn the golf course. That's what we have been doing is try to get a feel for the greens and golf course instead of having to learn it for the first time coming here.

Q. Cristie, what have you learned about team golf since you first played in the Curtis Cup in Ireland?

CRISTIE KERR: Versus individual golf?

Q. Yes.

CRISTIE KERR: What I've learned about team golf is that it's pretty unique. You don't only just have yourself to say "come on, let's go." You have teammates to motivate. You have teammates to lean on. And, you know, whoever is going to win the Solheim Cup and bring The Cup home is going to be the team that meshes well together, and there is so many different things that have to come together in a team versus playing individually for yourself.

You know, that's the biggest thing I notice of team golf versus individual golf is that you play for each other versus playing individually, and I think it's one of the most special experiences that I have playing on the Solheim Cup because you get to play for somebody else and play for your country. For individual golf, it's all about you all the time. It's not about you when you're playing on the team. It's all about the team and how you work together and how you play together as a team. Again there are friendships that you build for life. So, there is a lot of great memories and stories, laughs. There is a lot of things that are involved in playing team golf that you don't get to do in team golf.

Q. You can look at Meg and Beth and Juli as the grand dames of this team and the rookies are the rookies. Where do you fit in as the top points getter?

CRISTIE KERR: I haven't really looked at it like that. I know that's kind of contrite to say, but I think that I kind of look at myself as one of the younger veterans on the team, if you will. At least Meg, Beth and Juli call me young, which is nice. I kind of am in the role of trying to be a part of this team and not trying to stand out as an individual, and I think we're all doing that. I think we're all about each other and not about individual, and I think that's what's so special about this team that, you know, there is no one person that really stands out.

Q. Are your expectations of yourself any different than they were in either Interlachen or Sweden?

CRISTIE KERR: I'm really hard on myself and I know a lot of other people coming in here have said that. We don't put extra pressure on ourself that we wouldn't normally put on ourself. I expect of myself to give it 150 percent. I know I will do that and I know I will be satisfied with the way things turn out. That's all you can really do is play your heart out, play for each other, play for Nancy, do all the right things that lead to having a great week. You let the chips fall where they may.

Q. How would you rate Nancy's performance so far as a Captain?

CRISTIE KERR: Pretty unbelievable. She's a special lady. She really is. Forget what she's done on a golf course. I don't think you will meet a better person. She's been all about us. We have been all about each other and the team. The bond that this team has molded or created or crafted, there is a lot of good thoughts, a lot of goodwill, a lot of good energy that goes along with this team, and I think you're going to see that translated into some pretty good golf.

Q. Has that been going on all year?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, definitely it's been going on all year. We didn't see well, she tried to make herself not as visible last year, but now it's the year of the Solheim Cup. Obviously being Captain, there is a lot that goes along with that. It's a two year process to be a Captain. You try to do the leg work in the first year, and the second year, you try to get with your players and really start to have the team take shape. She's been unbelievable.

Donna Caponi has been fantastic as Co captain. They're doing an unbelievable job. Each Captain brings a different personality to the table. Nancy has brought a very comfortable, confident, you know, a great attitude and great energy to the team and that's translated into us and the bonds we have a team.

Q. I know she encouraged you not to be a team of stars, there are no stars on this team for this one week. Is that true?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I think having Nancy as our Captain and the way that she brought us together as players to make the team, I think that's kind of happened automatically, but, you know, we want to play for each other and for her. We want to play so well that as long as we give it our all, we'll let the chips fall where they may. We can only try as hard as we can and do as well as we can. We can't control what the other team does. She's made us feel very comfortable with whatever happens is okay, as long as you give us your all. That's been great for us.

Q. When you came in Sunday and walked in your hotel room, what was there?

CRISTIE KERR: Lots of decorations, lots of little touches, little books of inspiration, USA, red, white and blue flags, balloons, you name it, plus all the gifts the players get in the room. It was a pretty unbelievable sight to walk into. Everywhere you look, there was a new thing. It's like a painting you look at and then you go away and come back and look again and say, oh, there is something else in there. It was unbelievable.

Q. So, there was a wow factor? It impacted you?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. She made beautiful portraits that are hanging outside our doors of us, and the quality of the photos are unbelievable and those are ours to keep. Very personalized stuff that's pretty I can't even describe it to you.

Q. What did you think was the nicest subtle touch and what was the coolest gift?

CRISTIE KERR: The coolest gift I thought we got, for me, because I always get lost, we got a personal navigation system we can take with us places. It's pretty high tech actually. You know, she writes little hand notes, "it's great that you're here," stuff like that. That's a pretty nice touch.

Q. Having played with and competed against and now being a teammate of Paula Creamer, what impresses you about her maturity level to have the year she's had?

CRISTIE KERR: Well, it's pretty unbelievable the year she's had. I don't think that's ever been achieved. Has a rookie ever made over $1 million in one year?

Q. Karrie has.

CRISTIE KERR: She's pretty remarkable, and she's pretty mature for her age. She's like, "I'm so old now that I'm 19." I'm like, "I will be 28 in a month, you can hush now." I'm impressed with what she brings. She brings such an energy to the team and confidence, and she really is a good person. She looks very intense on the golf course, but she's just a teenager still. She likes to go shopping, hang out with her boyfriend, and that's all good to see. She's had a pretty remarkable life so far. It's only going to get better. I think she's handled it all very well.

Q. Ludivine, Kruetz and Gwladys, a, have you ever played with them before; and b, have you ever heard of them before?

CRISTIE KERR: The other French girl, I think I've heard of her, but never played with her. Ludivine is also a fellow LaCoste staff member. I got a chance to play with her in Evian. She's quite a nice girl.

Q. Any other questions? Thanks. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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