Kerr Defends Title at Wendys Championship

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2006 Wendys ChampionshipDUBLIN, Ohio -- Being the defending champion is a big disadvantage for Cristie Kerr.
 
In five tries, Kerr never has defended a tournament, but she hopes to end that trend this week at the Wendy's Championship for Children.
 
'I've been playing some great golf of late,' Kerr said Wednesday. 'I've been playing with a lot of confidence. When it's like that for me, it's a lot of fun to play golf.'
 
Kerr, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, has won twice this year -- victimizing Angela Stanford each time. She overcame a four-shot deficit to Stanford in the final round, shooting a 67, to win by two strokes at the Franklin American Championship in May. Then she overcame an eight-shot deficit to Stanford in the last round to win the Canadian Open two weeks ago.
 
A year ago at Tartan Fields Golf Club, Kerr held off challenges from Pat Hurst, Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer to win by a shot. She hit a 10-foot putt to save par on the 17th green of the final round, then won with a par on the final hole when Hurst found trouble off the 18th tee and finished with a double-bogey.
 
'I love winning,' Kerr said. 'It's a very addicting feeling. And I'm in a very good place in my career right now.'
 
Six of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 on the money list will take part in Thursday's opening round.
 
Karrie Webb, continuing her comeback, tops the money list by just over a thousand dollars more than No. 2 Lorena Ochoa.
 
Webb has won three times this year -- giving her 33 victories in her career -- after winning just twice in the previous three seasons.
 
'As old as everyone thinks 31 is, I still feel I have quite a few years left to play,' said Webb, who has won the Kraft Nabisco, Michelob Ultra and Evian Masters this year. 'What drives me is that I don't want to be one of the players out here just trying to make the field.'
 
Paula Creamer is also back at the tournament. She led by a shot going into last year's final round but a closing 71 left her tied for second with Sorenstam.
 
Creamer was the tour's rookie of the year in 2005 after winning twice and finishing second on the money list. She hasn't won yet this year but has nine top-10 finishes.
 
'That's the difference between this year and last year -- I just haven't made quite as many putts,' she said. 'Another thing is that I made more bogeys the last couple of months than I did last year. I'm making a lot of birdies but just giving them away with the bogeys. I've re-evaluated a little of my course management, and I think it's a learning experience. I'm hitting the ball well, so we'll see what happens.'
 
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