Kerr eager for first victory as a mom

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NAPLES, Fla. – Cristie Kerr’s first season as a mom on tour is coming to a close.

Learning to balance work and family life in a new way, Kerr is playing her 25th and final event of the year. She estimates she made just seven of those starts without her son, Mason, traveling with her. She knows she has just about got the balance right because it won’t be a year measured in what she missed at home.

“I got to see Mason take his first steps,” Kerr said after posting a 2-under-par 70 Friday at the CME Group Tour Championship. “I got to see him walk.”

Kerr will tell you the exact day Mason began walking. It was Oct. 30.

What Kerr didn’t experience this year was a victory, though she came close. She racked up 11 top-10 finishes, including a pair of runner-up finishes. She can’t wait to claim the 17th LPGA title of her career, her first victory as a mom. Mason is with Cristie and her husband, Erik, this week in Naples. He was running around on the practice green after her round. He will turn 1 on Dec. 8.

Kerr confesses winning her first event as a mom is something she thinks about.

“I do,” Kerr said. “But it’s been a good transition year for me.”

With her 70 Friday, Kerr is six shots off the lead. A good round Saturday, and she’ll be in the hunt to win with Mason watching. If not, she will have plenty of motivation going into next year, a Solheim Cup year.

“I’m going to be more fit next year,” Kerr said. “I’m going to come out guns blazing, I think.”