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June 7, 2005

Cristie Kerr


Q. We have got Cristie Kerr here in the interview room. She's playing very well this season, won a couple weeks ago in Kingsmill, the top American in the Solheim Cup points. Talk about your season.

CRISTIE KERR: Again, you know, I played very solidly from last year through this year, and I feel like I just keep working on my technique and keep having good finishes, and my confidence is growing, and I feel very good going into this week.

Q. Questions?

CRISTIE KERR: No questions?

Q. What do you think of the course compared to DuPont?

CRISTIE KERR: DuPont is one of my all time favorite courses that we play. I won the Betsy Rawls AJGA, a very good junior tournament back in the day.

I play really well at DuPont. I love that golf course, but this golf course is awesome. It's a really, really tough golf course. The rough is really bad, kind of tight driving areas. You have to think your way around. You have to have good ball control this week. There's a lot of holes you kind of have to work it right to left, and some the other way.

It's a shot maker's golf course and the greens are really fast. I think it's going to be a great test.

Q. How did you feel when they announced it was going to leave DuPont? How did that make you feel that you found out it's not going to be at one of your favorite spots?

CRISTIE KERR: Well, I think some of the other players will agree, as the years have gone on, they got so many diseases on the greens it would be inevitable.

Having all the history there, we were kind of sad to see it leave, but at the same time we knew what kind of golf course we were coming to in Bulle Rock and everybody is really looking forward to playing this golf course.

Q. How is yesterday's wet weather affecting the conditions out there? Are you feeling the effects of last night's storm?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. It's 165 yards and playing closer to 167 out there. It's playing longer. They're expecting thundershowers throughout the whole week. I don't foresee it drying out too much. I don't know how old or new this golf course is. There wasn't a tremendous amount of mud on the golf course. That is a tribute to how good the golf course was before the storm.

Q. How many rounds have you played here before?

CRISTIE KERR: Just today, and I would say most of the players, between yesterday and today, have only seen the course once. We played Atlantic City last week, and it was still a drive. I drove down here yesterday, Monday kind of took a day off and went to bed early. So, the heat's going to take a toll on everybody. I think it being soft and playing longer, it will be a tough week.

Q. Why is it that maybe LPGA players don't come out in advance and see the course? Is it the scheduling?

CRISTIE KERR: I think scheduling has a lot to do with it. Again, even though we were close to Havre de Grace, even though we were close in Atlantic City next week, it's not like it would be a normal Tuesday/Wednesday Pro Am, so, Monday/Tuesday Pro Am, you play whatever day you're in the Pro Am, and the other day you typically practice. There wasn't much chance unless you played it before the season.

That wouldn't have been feasible, it's cold up here. It's scheduling. Sometimes we're kind of flying all over the place, and it's really tough to get a practice round in. Getting a practice round in the US Women's Open is nearly impossible because we don't go anywhere near Denver.

Q. How difficult is that?

CRISTIE KERR: I have a great caddy. I have a pretty good overall sense of kind of how the designer and being familiar with Pete Dye you can see this course is not tricked up. You can see you want to hit it over here to have a better place on the green. Worth is good at going out and scoping the golf course, we're a good team.

Q. How long does it take a player to find the intricacies of a course over the years or over the one event?

CRISTIE KERR: It depends on the specific golf course. This is very straightforward, very tough. It's not tricked up. It's a shot maker's course. You have to make a lot of putts and position yourself on the greens to be able to do that.

I take a lot of notes when I play a golf course. I've got every break on every green. I've got "don't hit it over here," so even in school, when I was in high school, I took a tremendous amount of notes, and was an A student. It carried over, I guess, to the yardage book notes.

Q. Do you have a theory on when a course plays long and wet, what it does to the field? Does it bring more players in or does it eliminate more?

CRISTIE KERR: That's a very interesting question. Obviously, it favors the longer hitters. I think you're going to see a lot of bigger names on the leaderboard. Hopefully, I'm up there. It's a tough golf course, it's a major, a lot of pressure, so typically, I would say when a golf course is very tough and long, it eliminates some of the golfers. I'm not saying to discount, you know, somebody that's not Top Ten on the money list. Certainly, that can happen too.

This is a really tough golf course and you have to manage your way around the course.

Q. Do you see any weaknesses in this course?

CRISTIE KERR: No, none at all. Even on the par 5s, there's being as wet as it is, I'll tell you unless you're top five in driving distance, I don't think you're getting too many of the par 5s unless the course really firms up.

Q. How does Annika's success affect the way other golfers look at a tournament coming in?

CRISTIE KERR: It seems like a very generic question now doesn't it? Obviously you know if she's on the top of her game, she's going to be in contention come Sunday, and I got to tell you though there's a lot of players out here that can hang with her now. We're not seeing those kinds of players braking through and winning yet, but we're very close. It's great for women's golf to see that. I know how many talented people there are out here, and I want to give them their credit. We all work very, very hard, and we're all ready to challenge her.

It's almost like when that one person beats her head to head, people are going to believe, hey, I can do this, too. Just like what happened to Tiger well, with Tiger rather. She's the best player in the world, but, you know, we're all pretty good too, and we're all ready to challenge. You know, we're all ready to challenge head to head I think.

Q. Does the fact that you're playing on a course that none of you have played, does that even things up?

CRISTIE KERR: Maybe a little bit. No, that's tough to say. It's pretty exciting to be at a new golf course and not really know how it's going to play. I think if you play consistent golf on this course and then you have a round a little lower, you can win. There's a lot of tough up and downs out there. I think if you keep a couple under every day and have one round four or five under, I think you can easily win it.

Q. Can I move ahead to talk about the Playoff, about the end of next year. What's your personal feelings on the new formula?

CRISTIE KERR: First off I know the general sense of kind of what they have been going towards or for the ADT. I don't know all the intricacies. They said it's kind of going to be a work in progress, and again we have a great Board with Don Hudson and Ray Evans and a lot of very, very well respected people that are kind of looking for something really exciting to get the fans behind.

Again, I know basically only the outline of what they want to do, not the intricacies, but it sounds like it's going to be a really exciting format. It will hopefully bring the viewership up on TV and bring more people out to the tournament because of the 600,000 or whatever it is going to be first place prize and second

Q. It will be $1 million for first place.

CRISTIE KERR: Not next year. So they're going to do it this way with the oh, I heard it's going to be $600,000. Well, that's even better then. I don't even know what the second and third is and so on and so forth. It's really just an interesting format. I think the first year obviously with planning a birthday party or whatever it is, planning a huge tournament, that was a bad analogy, but you're going to have to work out the kinks, and I think we have to be a little bit flexible and say it's going to get people behind us.

I think in a sense, even if you don't agree with it 100 percent, you've got to kind of support it. If it's going to help our Tour that much more, it will be good for everybody. It will hopefully bring more interest to the Tour and more sponsors. If that's the case, I'm all for it.

Q. You mentioned that you think some players are ready to step up and challenge Annika. Obviously, do you put yourself high on that list?

CRISTIE KERR: What makes you say that with a smirk on your face?

Q. I'm saying, are you in your mind, are you ready to become the number one player in the world this year?

CRISTIE KERR: It's going to take a lot for that to happen. I think I'm ready to challenge her head to head. I think I'm ready for that. It takes a lot to become number one on the money list. I don't know if that's going to happen. I have to be realistic with that. I feel in my heart, I'm talented to do that, and God's given me the talent to do that. If I'm patient and I pick my spots, and, you know, it's basically about believing in yourself and I believe in myself that much.

Q. Do you maybe on a drive to this tournament or anything about playing with her on a Sunday?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. That's what you work for. You want to test your game against the best in the world. Right now, she's the best in the world. You know, God willing, if that were to happen to me, I would respect those people wanting to challenge me too. If you're the best, you want to play against the best; and if you're playing against the best, you want to beat the best. That's the bottom line.

Q. After playing this course today, what aspect of your game do you feel will be most important over the next four rounds?

CRISTIE KERR: Hopefully obviously you want your ball striking and putting and all that stuff. With all that said, there's still you have to manage your way around the golf course. I think I manage my way around the course pretty well. I think that's going to be a big help.

Q. Any more questions? All right. Thanks a lot, Cristie.

End of FastScripts.

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