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May 8, 2004

Cristie Kerr


DANA VONLOUDA: Thanks for coming in, three birdies, two bogeys, tied for the lead with Lorena. Tell us about your position and the round today.

CRISTIE KERR: Go over the score card? Birdie on 5, 5-iron really solid shot, made about a 22 foot putt.

On 7, I hit a 5-iron into the green and kind of hit a little bit of a hook on to ups-- really severe up-slope lie and kind of fluffed my third shot. Wasn't really a bad shot, it was just the lie. Made the putt from off the fringe, probably about 25 feet on 9, hit a 9-iron to the back fringe and made about a 12-footer.

Bogey at 11, bad iron into the green, 9-iron and left a very tough up-and-down. Hit a good putt, but it didn't go in. Bogey on 18, thought I hit a perfect drive really. I picked up my tee right after I hit the shot and my -- all I heard was my caddie was saying "Quit drawing, quit drawing." In the water. I had a tough uphill bad lie shot, got it pin-high to the left which was a really difficult 2-putt. 6-iron. And made 2-putt. Made about 5-, 6-footer on the second putt to get me into a tie for the lead. So that was very good.

My back nine, felt like I played better than the score indicated. I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in. A couple of misreads. I felt like I could have shot about 1-under on the back nine, but in this case I didn't. So this is where I am.

Q. This is about where you were last year after three rounds. Ever sense of deja vu or anything?

CRISTIE KERR: More of a sense of fate really. It's Mother's Day tomorrow. And I launched this whole Birdies for Breast Cancer Campaign last week and one of the headlines of the papers I think that was written this week is "Kerr seeks special win on Mother's Day." My mother had breast cancer last part middle of the last year and this would be a perfect way to tell her I loved her on Mother's Day, I guess.

Q. Hit 13 of 14 fairways.

CRISTIE KERR: I was hitting it very well off the tee which surprised me when my ball went into the water on 18. Get going a little bit left and then there's that slope, it just kicks everything, but it went into the last part of the hazard, that it could have gone into, like I said, I thought I hit a perfect drive the wind just got it or I got a gust or something, and not to stay up.

Q. There were wind gusts out there today?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. Really windy. Have you been in here all day? (Laughter).

Q. Not only was it windy, it was very confusing switching directions?

CRISTIE KERR: I thought the wind was pretty consistent. I thought it was blowing from the east, you know, but if you get down into some of the valleys among some hills you are going to get some different wind directions. It was tricky but Worth and I judged that pretty well today.

Q. What is your caddie's name?

CRISTIE KERR: Worth, not his real name, but that's what he goes by Worth Blackwelder.

Q. Can you put your finger on exactly why you are playing so well here?

CRISTIE KERR: I just really like this place, I guess. The golf course, it plays like a major championship and I like that. I like golf courses that play difficult because I don't feel like you have to make a million birdies to play well and finish well. I like tough conditions. I played well in major Championships, just this is a major championship champ caliber golf course and it's set up that way. It was windy today so you know, I said to Worth at the beginning of the round, anything under par would be a good score. And you'd gain a lot of ground, yeah, I shot 2-over on the back nine too, shoot 1-under or the day, but I made up five shots to be tied for the lead. So I am pleased with my position going into tomorrow.

Q. Saying you feel like there's fate at work here. Is that the kind of thing that you respond to or is that something that you will feel puts more pressure on you tomorrow?

CRISTIE KERR: No, I don't think it puts pressure on me. You never know what fate has in store. It is a good question. But I don't feel like it puts more pressure on me. I feel like I am playing well. I am meant to be in this position more and more. And I am getting more comfortable with playing with a lead and playing in the lead. So I am not going to worry about too much stuff when I go out there tomorrow. I am just going to go and try and get the job done for me and see what happens. Whoever has a better day will win.

Q. Crazy stat of the day the 5th hole today was birdied by two players. Lorena and yourself. How tough was that hole?

CRISTIE KERR: Very tough. But I know from experience where that pin is, it's better to be aggressive and hit it over the green because you have a little easier chip in anywhere else around that hole. I said to myself I am going to get up and just make a good solid swing at it and if it -- depending on the wind gusts, if it goes over the green it will be a more simple shot than anywhere else around the hole, so I made a really good swing at it ended up making birdie.

Q. Were you on the green?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. Back of the green.

Q. You said yesterday you wanted to be the top American player. When did that become a realistic goal for you?

CRISTIE KERR: I think -- I think when I realized that I could be. Not only top American player but one of the top players in the world that's where I want to go.

I have chosen to do this for my living, for my love, and I want to excel. I want to keep getting better and you know, you can only go as far as high as you set your goals, so I have set my goals higher and I am kind of raising the bar for myself.

Q. When you say this sets up like a major championship and the atmosphere as well, is the atmosphere among the players too when you are out there do you feel like you are playing in a major?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. This purse first off is $600,000 more than most of our majors, except the U.S. Open. So in my mind it is a major championship. The venue is perfect. The people are great. We have five, 10 volunteers on every hole. It is just a great place to be.

Q. It has been referenced to as a fifth major on Tour. Is there any other event that falls under that category also out there?

CRISTIE KERR: You know, there's a lot of different ways you can categorize something as being a major. The purse is higher here than it is in some of the other major Championships. There's a couple of other tournaments, but it's all how I relate to looking at it. I think the venue is that of a major championship. The money is that of a major championship. You get the best players 49 out of the top 50 here so in my mind it plays like a major. I am not saying it is a major championship. I am saying it feels that way.

End of FastScripts.

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