Golf Digest WomanJune 25, 2010

Cristie Kerr post-round interview gems

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Cristie Kerr can be famously moody, but when she's in good spirits, as she was after her round of 66 today, there is no better interview on the LPGA Tour. Here are some highlights from her presser:__

____You hit five fairways today and you still shot six under. This is major-championship rough. How is that possible?__I don't know, weight lifting? (Laughs.) I ended up getting some pretty good lies and some not so good lies, but I managed. When you are in the rough, don't try to be a hero, just try to get it short of the green, or try to get it on the green, or in a place that you can get up and down. That has a lot to do with the way you are thinking out there. It has a lot to do with how you are working with your caddy. I did that very well today.  ______

We talked to your caddie afterward. You split up with him in 2007, he wanted us to ask you why?(Laughs.) We were both very immature and butting heads. ____

____I'm teasing. But seriously, why did you and what made you come back to him?Well, I think we had a lot of success early in our career together and it was just kind of like we got on each other's nerves, I think. That's the best way to put it. It was never his performance as a caddie, or me as a player playing. It was just sort of like a personality kind of thing and we split up. I probably maybe fired him a little hastily, but I have matured a lot in the last couple of years, and so has he, and it was just time for us to get back together.

We hear a lot about the foreign players and how often they win on this tour. There has only been you and Michelle in the last 25 events that have won. How seriously do you take your standing as the top American player in the world? How much do you dwell on that, or think about it, or try to push yourself to get to that No. 1 ranking. Do you spend much time on it at all? I take it very seriously. That's really the only way I can put it.  I obviously want to try to become the No. 1 player in the world. I feel like I'm poised to do it. So I just have to keep doing what I'm doing, and winning golf tournaments is hard. You have to do what I did the first two days here. You have to try and do your routine. You have to try to execute and you have to try to make more putts than everybody else, and I have done that.

How important is it for an American to win on an American soil in an American major?It's very important. I can feel it in the crowds cheering us on. I can feel they want an American winner, just in the way they are cheering for me. Our tour is very deep with the international contingent. They all can play. We need to get more girls playing golf in the United States. And have them, you know, hopefully watching these kind of tournaments, seeing Americans win.

Yesterday you said your mental game was there. What does that mean to you that your mental game was there? It just means that I'm free of interference. It means I'm focusing more on how I want to hit the shot than how it's going to turn out. It means that I'm free of worrying, going 'what if it goes right or what if it goes left?' When I'm doing it well, I think I do it almost better than anybody, my mental stuff. I still think I need to do a little better on the tee shots on that. I did well with the irons today."

You just said on TV that you have no need to be fearful anymore, something to that effect.  Can you expand on that? Well, you know, I've worked hard enough. I've won enough golf tournaments. You know what, there is always a little bit of that in there. I equate that to, if you've seen the movie A Beautiful Mind, where there are things in his mind that are there, but that are real to him but aren't actually real. Like if you put them in your hand, you can't touch them, and you can't feel them.

__When I have a bad thought, and it happens, or when I feel unconfident, I just go back to that Beautiful Mind movie. That's one my favorite movies because he chose not to acknowledge [the bad thoughts]. He had difficulty in the beginning but he chose not to acknowledge and have the thoughts be harmful to him, and he was able to go on and lead his life.

And I feel like, if I just keep that in my mind, those thoughts, those bad thoughts where I'm going to hit it right, or I'm going to hit it left, or I'm not going to hit the fairway here, not make a putt, or whatever, it won't have as much power over me and I think you are seeing the results of that. I don't have a Nobel Prize though.

--Stina Sternberg