(Editor's note: Cristie Kerr, the 2007 U.S. Women's Open champion, is filing a daily blog with GolfChannel.com, offering her views on watching the men at Pinehurst No. 2 as the women get ready to play it this week for the U.S. Women's Open.)
By CRISTIE KERR
PINEHURST, N.C. – What an unforgettable arrival for the U.S. Women’s Open.
I didn’t get here in time to practice alongside the men as they warmed up Sunday for the final round of the U.S. Open, but I got a larger dose of excitement being among them than I really wanted, thanks to Dustin Johnson. I’ll get to that in a moment.
The final group had already teed off when I got to the range, but after getting my work done, I hiked out to watch my friend, Erik Compton, play on the back nine. Erik and I grew up in Miami playing Dade Amateur Golf Association events as kids. I caught up with Erik's pairing at No. 13, where my week nearly ended before it began. Dustin Johnson hit a rocket off line there that nearly took me out. I literally had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. I’d love to make some headlines here this week, but that’s not the way I imagined making them.
Once I was out of Dustin's way, it was nice being out there. It was terrific to see this golf course in a Sunday setup, with the huge galleries, in the heat of competition. I really got a feel for how firm and fast it can play. With the hot temperatures expected next week, I couldn't help wondering how the course is going to hold up. I just hope they don’t lose the golf course, but the USGA knows what they’re doing. I’m sure they’ll put a lot of water down.
I was so proud of Erik, how well he handled himself, finishing second and getting himself into the Masters. I’m sure he didn’t see me out there. He was playing with tunnel vision, as he should. I wrote yesterday about what a classy guy he is. He showed that again Sunday after the round. We saw him at dinner at the Darling House restaurant in the village. He was with Charlie DeLucca and Charlie's son. Charlie was an important part of Erik's life and my life as the head of the Dade Amateur Golf Association. They call Charlie the Godfather of Miami golf. They all came over, and Erik spent a little time with my family, including my son, Mason. I congratulated him, and he wished me luck. Our passing each other through Pinehurst just adds to the special nature of this week.
I’d like to congratulate Martin Kaymer on winning the U.S. Open. What a great performance. He handled the weekend pressure so impressively. It’s our week now, and I’m excited to get going, to see how this course is going to play. I love the U.S. Women’s Open, and I love Donald Ross golf courses. It should be a special week.