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April 3, 2014

Cristie Kerr


KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome Cristie Kerr into the interview room.  Cristie, great 3‑under par round today.  Talk about the round.  What was really working well for you out there today?
CRISTIE KERR:  Well, I played really well.  I kept it together.  I hit a lot of bad shots out there, actually, and recovered well.  I kept my calm and made some big par putts when I needed to.  The course is not playing really easy.  It's playing longer, and a lot of tucked pins out there.
KELLY THESIER:  Were there any putts that kind of got you going?  I watched one long bomb that you seemed to be making.  But any big ones that you can really focus on that were critical?
CRISTIE KERR:  I made a lot.  I saved par on 10.  I saved par on 6.  Made some nice birdie putts.  I putted really well today, and that kind of kept me in it.  My coach is here, so I'll get to work with him on the range after.  Hopefully I'll be a little more consistent with my ball striking the next three days.

Q.  Five Top 5 finishes here, including a best runner‑up in 2009.  You seemed to play well at this event almost every year.  What is it about this event that seems to suit your game, and what would it mean for you to make that jump on Sunday?
CRISTIE KERR:  I love this golf course.  My coach and his family live here, so I come to Palm Springs a lot and get to play this course a lot.  It's just a demanding course.  Even with little rough on the golf course, it's still demanding.  It's still a test and it's a major.  So it's a fun event, and I like the tough events.  I don't want to get ahead of myself on Sunday, but obviously it would be great to be wearing that bath robe after.

Q.  You mentioned the rough and the pin placement out there today.  Had a couple of people tell me that the pin placements are borderline insane on some of the holes out there.  Does it seem like maybe they're doing something different or is it just on Thursday and you would have expected this on Saturday anyway?
CRISTIE KERR:  That's a good question.  They've been tucking the pins a lot more this year than I've probably ever seen.  Even last week they put the pins on some kind of shady areas with the slopes just short or behind the hole, like last week.  Like the pin on 3 today, it doesn't matter if you hit a pitching wedge, it would be hard to get to, and we're hitting 6 and 7‑irons in.  So the pin on 1 is like two yards from the right side of the green.  I mean, there are a lot of really tucked pins out there.  Do they have to be that severe?  Maybe not.  But they're probably compensating for the fact that there's not much rough.

Q.  That was the next question.  Is the rough down?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, there were a couple pins I didn't think they needed to put, especially on a Thursday, but it seems like overall this year they've been putting on the first two days some of the weekend pins.  So they seem even more tucked than they are, but it's a major, so they want it to play tough.

Q.  How long was your putt on 17?
CRISTIE KERR:  I left it as close as you can get it to the hole, first of all.  It had to be 30 feet, I think.  It was uphill right‑to‑left.  I had made that putt before in a previous year.  It's a good pin.  It is tucked, but that is usually a pin we see on Sunday.

Q.  You've had several close calls here.  Where does this tournament rank in terms of the one you want the most?
CRISTIE KERR:  Pretty much is the one.

Q.  Is there a shot or a hole that you think back on of one you wish you could get a mulligan?
CRISTIE KERR:  No.  I mean, well, obviously there are, but this is 2014 already, so just got to stay in the present and just play the course as well as I can.  I've got a little extra advantage, I think, on the greens this year because my caddie, Mark Wuersching, he has the AimPoint stuff, and he has the Greens Book.  But I don't get caught up in the numbers, but it has‑‑ it's a little bit more of an idea of where the break will be in the slope, and whereas in years past, I think maybe I've hit a lot of good putts and misread a lot of putts.  So I definitely made more putts today having him on the bag and having him with all the preparation work that he's done.

Q.  So you trust him then and what he advises?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, and then I see the Greens Book too.  So definitely.  He's proven to me in the last four to five weeks that I can trust him implicitly, and usually when things are off, it's me that's thinking off.  He's rock solid.

Q.  Probably a lot of people wondering how you would come out and play this year with your heart really divided the way it is for the first time.  Can you just speak to the challenge of that?
CRISTIE KERR:  I think it was tough overseas.  But it was a lot of new things too.  I had a new caddie and I was struggling with my ball striking.  I had recently just switched to Ping irons and wedges.  You know, they've definitely been there more for me and more consistent.  It was hard the second week in Singapore and nothing went right.  As soon as I got home and made the switch to the new clubs, it just seemed like the stars started aligning and things with Mark started working better.
I like where I am right now.  I like how I feel.  I'm not putting any extra pressure on myself because I have my son and my husband with me.  It's fun.  It's really fun to go home and just have him on the carpet, smiling and laughing and kind of his latest thing is he's kicking his legs like he's in a pool.  It's kind of cute.  So it's kind of fun to have them with me, and it's been easier to get away from golf, I think, having them with me.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, he was Phoenix, Kia, and he's here.  He's probably going to go to a lot of tournaments.  I don't know if he'll go to Evian.  We're thinking of bringing him to the British, but definitely not Asia.  It's too long a trip.

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