Kerr 1-up in her personal US Open


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Cristie Kerr was part of a marquee pairing Thursday morning at the U.S. Women’s Open with the last two McDonald’s LPGA Championship winners – Anna Nordqvist and Yani Tseng – but the only competitor that mattered to Kerr was herself.

“I’m going to take each day as its own separate competition,” said Kerr, who had one lone bogey in her round of 2-under-par 69, “and today I did about as good as anybody is going to do. “I’m just going to go out and do the same thing the next three days and not get ahead of myself. That’s what I seem to do in tough conditions, which is to my advantage.”

The 2007 U.S. Open champion is considered a favorite this week on the very long Saucon Valley Country Club track for that very reason – she’s patient. In her last nine U.S. Open appearances, she’s finished no worse than tied for 32nd, with four top-10s. Kerr played her usually steady U.S. Open game on Thursday, hitting 10 fairways (71.4 percent) and 15 greens in regulation (83.3 percent), while managing to put her ball in the right spots on firm greens that ran as high as 13 on the Stimpmeter in the early morning hours. There were few opportunities to make a run at birdie, since most of the pins were on or near a slope.

“You have to take what a course gives you at a U.S. Open,” said Kerr. “You try and be aggressive when you can and most of the time you can’t be. It demands hitting greens, hitting them to the areas on the greens you can try to roll in the putts, whether that be from five feet or 40 feet. That’s kind of what you take in a U.S. Open.”