Kerr's notes: Inspiring to see my friend Erik Compton in contention

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 15, 2014, 2:44 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.)


This historic back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open just got a lot more exciting as I make my way to Pinehurst No. 2. It was so inspiring turning on the TV and seeing my friend Erik Compton make that great run into contention Saturday. We grew up together in Miami, and he really touched me with his speech when he introduced me for my induction into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame.

Erik isn’t just a great story with what he’s doing after two heart transplants, he’s a classy guy. He has a great spirit. When he was going into surgery to get his second transplant, I called his cell phone to leave an encouraging message, and his greeting was classic Erik. His greeting was: “You got to love the challenge . . . See everybody soon.” I thought that was great.

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

Kerr on Day 2: Playing with a big lead not easy

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I’m driving to Pinehurst with my husband, Erik Stevens, and our son, Mason, and we’re hoping it works out to where I can walk the back nine and follow Erik Compton in Sunday’s final round. We expect to arrive sometime mid-morning. With the USGA opening the practice range to the women at Pinehurst No. 2 at noon on Sunday, I’m hoping I might even be on the range getting in some work at the same time Erik is warming up for his final round. It just depends on the timing of our arrival and getting into our hotel, but I’d really like to do that.

Tuning in to Saturday’s U.S. Open, I wasn’t surprised seeing how much more severe the course was set up. With Martin Kaymer at 10 under, you knew they didn’t want him shooting under par again, and he didn’t. Winning a U.S. Open can be more about mental toughness than it is skill. I wrote Friday about how I would be curious to see how Martin handled himself if he got a bad break, because it can take a toll on you and really shift momentum. Martin got a bad break when his drive ended up against a tree early in his round, at the fourth hole, and I thought he handled it really well. He took the unplayable, made a terrific bogey and then eagled the next hole.  Playing the U.S. Open, you have to get out of your own way to win. We’ll see Sunday if Martin can keep doing that.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.