Kerr's notes: Kaymer's challenge; Pinehurst's divots

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 14, 2014, 1:10 am

(Editor's note: Cristie Kerr, the 2007 U.S. Women's Open champion, is filing a daily blog with, offering her views on watching the men at Pinehurst No. 2 as the women get ready to play it next week for the U.S. Women's Open.)


Martin Kaymer certainly has our attention. Watching a player run away with the lead against a strong field in a major championship is compelling, because it just doesn’t happen very often. You have to have everything going right for a long time to get that far ahead. It's something special to see.

We’re all going to be watching how Kaymer handles the pressure of a weekend at a U.S. Open. Can he keep playing good golf if he gets a bad break? And you know there are going to be bad breaks when you hit it in that “stuff,” the waste areas at Pinehurst No. 2. There’s an element of luck going in there, so getting a bad lie feels like bad luck. It’s interesting to see how players handle bad breaks. You can’t underestimate the mental toll a bad break can take, or the momentum shift it can create going into a tough stretch of holes.

I’ve had big leads and extended them, and I’ve had big leads and barely held on to them.

I had a five-shot lead going into the weekend at the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill in 2010, was up by eight shots going into Sunday, and won by 12.

I was up by five going into the final round at the Long Drugs Challenge back in 2002, but didn't play tremendously well, and only managed to win by a shot. That was my first victory.

When I had the big lead at the LPGA Championship, I didn’t feel any less pressure to go out and do what I had done for the first three days. You just have to go out and win the day, win that battle with yourself. Even with that big lead, Kaymer has to go out and try to play like he’s down. That’s the hardest thing to do in sports - to close out a victory. It will be interesting to watch how he handles himself.

Kerr on Day 1: Waste areas will hurt women more than men

U.S. Open: Articles, videos and photos

Watching the U.S. Open on TV again Friday, I still can't get over how brown the course looks. We’re just not used to seeing that at a U.S. Open, and I’m looking forward to seeing it myself when I get down there on Sunday.

I’m getting asked a lot about divots and how much of a factor they may be with the U.S. Women’s Open also being played at Pinehurst No. 2 next week. My answer is that we play courses with divots every week. I’m sure I’ll find myself in a divot at some point, but I prepare for it. I practice shots out of divots on a weekly basis. With the greens as hard as they are to hit in regulation, I do have questions about the divots we may see in the collection areas around the greens. You tend to see balls gathering in common pockets, and that can create challenges.

Hitting a shot out of a divot in the fairway isn’t a huge deal, unless it’s an unusually deep divot. Obviously, hitting out of any divot is not the same as hitting from a clean lie, but it’s more of a concern around the greens. When you’re trying to get up and down, and you want to leave your ball in a particular spot, the lie is important in determining the kind of shot you’re going to hit. Watching on TV, I can’t really tell if divots are going to be a problem around the greens. I’ve watched the men putting from the off the greens this week, and I’ve watched them bump 3-woods, but I’ve also seen them hitting wedges. With the course softer than the men probably expected it to be, they’ve been able to hit wedges around the greens and have more control of their ball. They take more divots doing that.

I take pride in my putting, but I won’t be able to tell how much I’ll be able to putt from off those greens until I get there. The rule of thumb is that any time you can get a putter in your hand, it’s easier, but we’ll see. You have to read the grain around the banks of those greens. They mow in different directions at a U.S. Open. If you’re into the grain, putting may not be the best play. If you’re with the grain, putting may be the play. You make the play that allows you to hit the shot with the best speed, the shot with the most room for error.

The U.S. Women’s Open is approaching quickly, so it won’t be long before I’ll be making those decisions.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm