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May 18, 2005

Cristie Kerr


JOEL LAMP: We appreciate you coming in and speaking with us, Cristie. You're the top ranked player this week. That has to feel good.

CRISTIE KERR: It does. It absolutely does. It's kind of been a process over the last couple years. I'm just very, very fortunate to have the amount of talent I have, and I've been just playing so well lately. I have a lot of confidence. Just really excited to be playing right now, playing in competition. So I think that's part of it definitely.

JOEL LAMP: We'll go ahead and take questions.

Q. Do you consider yourself one of the standard bearers for the next wave of young players that are trying to make a name for themselves on the tour?

CRISTIE KERR: That's definitely an interesting way to put it. Never heard it put that way. Didn't think about the standard bearer, sign carrier, carrying the flag.

Q. One of the next wave. How is that?

CRISTIE KERR: God, I hope so. I mean, there's so much talent out here, it's scary, and so much young talent. You know, I just if any of the younger players need advice or need somebody to talk to or whatever, you know, I've just made it clear to them that I'm there for them if they need me. I'm just really glad to see that there's a lot of talent coming up.

Q. The reason I say that, you have a situation now where you actually have teenagers playing out here as well as your 20 somethings like yourself.

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. You know, I'm almost 28, believe it or not, turning 28 in October. And I didn't have anybody my own age to hang out when I first came out. It's kind of nice just to be able to be there for somebody that wasn't in your position. It makes it a little easier. So that's a good thing.

Q. I think you've had eight starts, and six times third or better, is that right?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, it's been a pretty remarkable year for me. Just really happy in my life. I've got a great family and great boyfriend. You know, a lot of good things have been happening. Getting to know the press a little bit more. I had lunch with you in the city? When was that, two weeks ago? More than that, maybe a month or something.

I've got a lot of good publicity, so it's just been very feel good all the way around. I'm just really blessed.

Q. Is there something that changed in your golf game?

CRISTIE KERR: I think my technique with my swing and my short game putting, I think everything's been improving, you know, over the last couple years. I've done better and better every year. You know, that's kind of my the way I want to look at things. I've always been the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare race. I've never been the one that gets out there fast. I've always been the steady climber. You know, that's how I like to look at life, and that's how it carries over to my golf game.

Q. Have you considered at all that if not for Annika, you'd probably be the most dominant player in the game right now? Have you thought about that at all?

CRISTIE KERR: You know, I haven't really thought about that because you're kind of always chasing her (laughter). But, you know, it's great to be able to test your game against the best in the world, and she's the best in the world certainly. So, you know, I'm very honored to be in that people starting to hopefully consider me among the same rank of player.

But, you know, it's going to take a lot to beat her and to become No. 1 in the world. I mean, I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and, you know, hopefully with a little luck, you never know. I mean, I'm just really blessed to be doing what I'm doing. I've done so well. You know, things with my family are great, my home life. Everything's just going really well.

You always know it in your heart, I've always felt like I was meant to do this, and it's showing now. I think it's coming out, and I've just got to make sure I remember where I came from, you know, just be thankful along the way.

Q. But is she on your radar screen now?

CRISTIE KERR: I mean, absolutely. You know, there are a lot of players out here that do want to challenge her. I'm definitely one of them. I don't know if on a week to week basis I can be competitive to win every single week like she is, especially head to head with her right now. But I feel like I'm close to that. I feel like I'm playing more than her this year, so who knows what's going to happen.

Q. Are you a fan of the 16th hole here?

CRISTIE KERR: I think it's a good little par 3. You know, honestly, I think if they keep the pin placement around where the ProAm pin was today, I think we'll be fine. If they put like a really crazy pin, I think that things could get a little out of control with as fast and as sloped as that green is. But if they keep it around the same general area, I think, you know, it should be fine.

Q. Mishaps there in the times you've played here?

CRISTIE KERR: I'm sure I've bogeyed it before. But I usually just try and play a smart shot, not try and hit too close to the hole, 2 putt and just get out of there. If you make birdie, it's a bonus, because that's a really tough hole.

Q. As the only player in the Top 10 here...

CRISTIE KERR: Is that right? Grace it not in the Top 10.

Q. No.

CRISTIE KERR: You have to kind of consider she is, though.

Q. Right. But do you feel this could be your tournament to win? Do you go into it thinking like that?

CRISTIE KERR: You know, I don't want people considering me the favorite because I'm the only person in the Top 10 on the Money List here. We have so much talent and so much depth on the tour that anybody can win at any given time. If I play my own game, I play solidly, I make some putts, it could be my tournament. But at the same time I've got to go hit the range now because I wasn't hitting it so good the last couple days. My neck's kind of bothering me a little bit. You just never know.

I'm going to go out and I'm going to go out with the same attitude I have all year, and I'm just going to do the best I can.

Q. Do you like the golf course, though?

CRISTIE KERR: This is one of my favorite courses we play on tour. It's in the best shape I've ever seen it. I spend a bit of time in New York, obviously. This is the best I've ever seen it.

Q. You mentioned how good of shape it's in. They've cut a ton of trees down here. Do you feel like it's more consistent?

CRISTIE KERR: I think cutting the trees down, they did that for the maintenance of the course. Now, of course, the greens get more airflow. Everything about the course, the fairways are perfect, the greens are perfect, they're fast. They're not overly hard. Hopefully they won't make them any harder. I just have never seen it in such pristine shape.

Q. Some players thought it can be a little inconsistent at times.

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, in the last couple years it had been. But I think they've got a new head superintendent. You know, last year was better than the year before. This year, it's just in great shape.

Q. I know you're defending your title in two weeks, then McDonald's. Are you playing Corning next week?

CRISTIE KERR: I'm taking Corning off. This is my fourth week in a row. Taking Corning off. I'm playing the next five after that. 10 out of 10? 9 out of 10 is a lot. 10 out of 10 would have been unbearable.

Q. Bruce Lietzke.

CRISTIE KERR: Well, he does it. I don't know how he does it.

JOEL LAMP: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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