GREAT RAPIDS, MICHIGAN | The former world No. 1 and record holder for the most points in US Solheim Cup history shot 7-under 65 on Saturday in the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, scoring the lowest round of Cristie Kerr from the 2019 Pure Silk Championship in Williamsburg, Vir. where she shot a 63 to finish tied for ninth place.
“I felt like myself today for the first time in a few years, maybe three, four years. Who knows how much longer I’ll be playing? I just have to maybe not have two or three jobs, maybe just one,” Kerr said.
Kerr came out of the morning round without a single bogey, hitting 11 of 13 fairways, 17 of 18 greens, needing just 28 putts to get the job done at Blythefield Country Club.
“You know, yesterday was a tough day. I got off to a tough start, but I brought it back and played well, obviously to make the cut,” she said. “I played well. I just struggled with the driver a bit. Put a new driver in play this week. I went back to a Ping driver, and just hit it awesome.
The LPGA Tour veteran birdied back-to-back on holes 14 and 15, followed by two more on holes 17 and 18 to end the round with a remarkable finish.
“I was just trying to stay really committed to every shot I hit and I was like, in the past, it’s proven if I do this, if I take care of my work mentally and know where my game is at. , then the results take care of themselves, and I get a lot of birdie looks,” she said.
At the height of her career, Kerr finished in the top 10 in half the tournaments she entered and ranked second in average on the LPGA Tour, only behind Annika Sorenstam. The American golf icon has won 20 Tour events, including two majors, and the 44-year-old is still determined to be competitive before he retires.
“Over the past couple of years, there wasn’t a lot of balance, and I think that’s why my game suffered. COVID really put a damper on everybody’s life, and nobody knew. really how to handle it. At the beginning of 2020, we had let someone in the operational role go (at Kerr Cellars), so I took him on because it didn’t look like we were going to play golf, and he’s Turned out I was pretty good at it.” she says.
Kerr said she realized in 2021 that she couldn’t excel on tour while balancing a demanding position at Kerr Cellars, the company she founded in 2013.
“At the beginning of this year, I said, if I want to make a comeback, if I want to try to do really, really well again, I can’t (play golf and make wine full time). I have to focus all my energy on golf, on my fitness, which is starting again. I put everything into golf this year,” she said.
The mum-of-two and wine enthusiast has been through a lot in recent years, dropping out of tournaments when her mum was battling breast cancer, losing French LET player and friend Cassandra Kirkland to lung cancer in 2017 , and having to let go of longtime caddy Worth Blackwelder this year so he can focus on his health.
“He’s been a caddy for me all the way to ShopRite, and he has some heart issues that he needs to take care of and have surgery on. So my thoughts are with him,” she said.
Since then, Kerr has found Dave Lindquist, who has been a caddy on the PGA TOUR in the past.
“I was really, really lucky to find Dave Lindquist. I found him and we had crazy chemistry on the golf course, and that never happens to me. , wow, I have a good driver, wow, I have a great caddy, and wow, my game is changing,” Kerr said.
Kerr said she has fond memories at Meijer and the golf course has never been in better shape.
“I mean, the greens are as good as any greens we put on tour, even in a major. The rough is really up this week, and the fairways – I mean, you could eat on the fairways,” she said.
In contention tomorrow, Kerr said the game is not getting any younger, but the golf ball doesn’t know its age and will continue to work harder to be competitive.
“You never know here. I came back eight shots back to win a tournament. I may be a bit too far to do that, but I’ll keep working on it.”